The West is best at UO's Schnitzer Museum

"West of Center" opens Feb. 9
"West of Center" opens Feb. 9

The UO Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art looks back at the art of the 1960s and 1970s with “West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977,” on display Feb. 9 through April 28. The exhibition opens with a free public reception from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Friday, Feb. 8.

In the heady and hallucinogenic days of the 1960s and ’70s, a diverse range of artists and creative individuals based in the American West — from the Pacific Coast to the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest — broke the barriers between art and lifestyle and embraced the new, hybrid sensibilities of the countercultural movement.

“West of Center” explores the artists’ unique integration of art practices, political action and collaborative lifestyles through a variety of media, including a multi-media light show – “The Single Wing Turquoise Bird.” There's a 15-foot tall geodesic dome and video environment presenting the hand-built architecture of Colorado's Drop City commune; video and photographs of dances by Anna Halprin; performances by The Cockettes and The Angels of Light; an inflatable installation designed by the collective Ant Farm; and ephemera from the Black Panthers and Lesbian Feminist Communes in Southern Oregon.

The exhibition is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver and supported, in part, with funds provided by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and the National Endowment for the Arts. It is made possible at the JSMA by the Coeta and Donald Barker Special Exhibitions Endowment Fund and JSMA members.

A series of programs including curator’s talks, Schnitzer Cinema Film series, panels covering topics from the historical context to the Eugene connection, and Eugene’s first Inflato-Contest complement the exhibition. All programs take place at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art unless otherwise indicated. Program information is available online.