A new year means a new chance to experience art at the UO

Image from the 'Racing to Change' exhibit

Happy New Year!

As we transition to 2021, the new year offers a mix of both in-person and virtual arts events. The Erb Memorial Union will host several live events, including BE Heard with comic book writer and filmmaker David F. Walker, as well as art installations in the EMU’s Aperture and Adell McMillan galleries. February is Black history month, so be sure to take in the Museum of Natural and Cultural History’s online exhibition “Racing to Change: Oregon’s civil Rights Years—The Eugene Story,” or explore the vast virtual collections of museums, stories, galleries and more at Google’s arts and culture site.


The Department of Art and Center for Art Research will host several artist lectures in its Visiting Artist Lecture Series. Lectures are live on Zoom with registration and will also livestream on the Department of Art Facebook page. On Jan. 14 is “Convergence” featuring artist Fred H.C. Liang, whose recent work combines jianzhi, the folk art of cut paper, with porcelain to explore cultural exchanges between the East and West.

Jan. 28, Mario Ybarra Jr., a visual and performance artist, educator and activist who combines street culture with fine art that explores the Mexican-American experience in Los Angeles, will speak on “I Did it for Research,” a George and Matilda Fowler Lecture covering some of his past projects as well as creative strategies and tools for making art that tells family stories and other marginalized narratives.

'Time to Chill'Join Jillian Mayer for “Time to Chill” on Feb. 4. Mayer, whose work comprises video, sculpture, painting, photography, performance and interactive installations, will touch on themes of identity formation, experience, digital vs. analog environments, value, legacy and dependency.

Portland-based artist Laura Fritz will present “Mechanisms of Uncertainty” on Feb. 11. Through a range of media including sculpture, video and light, her immersive installations explore the cognition of uncertainty. Webinar registration.

History of art and architecture professor and 2020-21 Oregon Humanities Center faculty research fellow Kristen Seaman will present a work-in-progress talk on “Art and Work in the Green Sculpture Industry” Feb. 26.


Join German and comparative literature professor Ken Calhoon on Jan. 15 for “A Pause in the Action: Reflections on a Cinematic Gesture,” a virtual presentation hosted by the College of Arts and Sciences. Drawn from Calhoon’s recently completed book project, “The Long Century’s Long Shadow: Weimar Cinema and the Romantic Modern,” the event is a study of German cinema in the 1920s and its link to literature and painting that emerged in 1800, giving rise to the modern Expressionist cinema.  

Don’t miss BE Heard with David F. Walker, a live, in-person event Feb. 23 in the Erb Memorial Union Ballroom. Walker, who teaches at Portland State University, is a comic book writer and filmmaker who has worked for Marvel, DC and Image Comics. He is also the author of the graphic novel “The Life of Fredrick Douglass.” Attendees must RSVP this limited-space event. Additional livestream on Instagram and video will be uploaded to the EMU YouTube page following the event.


Although the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is currently closed until further notice, you can still experience art through several 360-degree virtual tours. Explore the Hallie Ford Fellows Visual Arts and Nuestra Imagen Actual exhibitions or the Prince Lucien Campbell Courtyard. Stroll through the museum at your own pace using circle icons to navigate from location to location. Zoom in on individual artworks, read object labels and descriptive texts and access informational links and exhibition brochures or study guides. New galleries and tours will continue to be added to the museum website.

Through Feb. 11 in the Aperture Gallery, “Wild Alaska,” a photographic exhibition by Cory Lescher, will be on display. A marine biologist and photographer, Lescher’s lens focuses on his outdoor adventures in Alaska.

A UO ID is required to view exhibitions in the EMU’s galleries. Virtual tours will be available at UO Visual Arts’ Instagram and Facebook channels


University Theatre’s 2020-21 season will offer a mix of live performances on its Hope and Robinson Theatre stages and via YouTube livestreaming. The first to be announced is “Personal Game,” a live theater experience premiering Jan. 29 showcasing Master of Fine Arts candidate Ashley Baker’s costume designs.

The project will feature performers wearing costumes that abstractly express the different paths people take to adapt themselves for role-playing games. Each 15-minute event will be performed 3-4 times per night for 14 socially distanced audience members. The event runs through Feb. 6.


From Jan. 24-28, catch the Artist Series, a virtual event featuring Anthony McGill on clarinet performing Messiaen’s “Abyss of the Birds” from Quartet for the End of Time; Poulenc’s Sonata for Clarinet and Piano and Brahms’ Trio in Clarinet, Cello and Piano, Op. 114.

Calidore QuartetCM@B presents “Virtuoso Violins” Feb. 7-11. Orion Weiss, Wu Han, Francisco Fullana, Paul Huang, Sean Lee, Danbi Um, Matthew Lipman and Clive Greensmith will perform Telemann’s Concerto in D major for Four Violins; Strauss’ Sonata for Violin and Piano, Op. 18 and Fauré’s Quartet No. 1 in C minor for Piano and Strings, Op. 15.

Feb. 21-25, CM@B hosts the Calidore Quartet and Xavier Foley performing Mendelssohn’s String Quartet in F minor, Op. 80 and Dvorák’s Quintet in G major for Two Violins, Viola, Cello and Bass, Op. 77.

Tune in to KWAX, UO’s classical radio station Feb. 19 at 10 a.m. for the Oregon Bach Festival Vault: Bach Secular Cantatas, a 1996 Helmuth Rilling-conducted performance.

Museum of Natural and Cultural History

If you have not yet experienced the “Racing to Change” exhibition, the museum’s online exhibit traces the history and events of Oregon’s civil rights years in Eugene. Explore topics ranging from the pre-Civil Rights era and being Black and proud to how the community rallied for the cause, the role the UO played, and resources for continuing the mission of Civil Rights and equality.

Streaming resources

Until venues for in-person events open back up, the internet is a treasure trove of virtual exhibits, collections, audio, video and images for online entertainment.

For Black History Month, explore a richness of virtual collections, museums, stories, galleries and more at Google’s arts and culture site.

If you haven’t discovered eventbrite.com, try not to be overwhelmed by the sheer volume of easily searchable free virtual events, including everything from yoga classes, music and baking workshops to author readings, crafting, comedy and networking opportunities.

Be sure to drop in and view the UO Channel featuring an assortment of livestreamed events, Department of Art Visiting Artist Lecture Series videos, guest speakers and more.

—By Sharleen Nelson, University Communications