Opening Reception is Thursday, September 27, 2018 from 6-8pm
with a Members Preview from 5-6pm
Exhibit open through Spring, 2019
At Washington County Museum, located on the PCC Rock Creek Campus:
17677 NW Springville Rd., Portland, OR, 97229
The Washington County Museum is excited to announce a new exhibit, AgriCulture: Shaping Land and Lives in the Tualatin Valley, which will be open to the public from September 27th, 2018 through spring 2019. Visitors to this dynamic, colorful exhibit will be able to touch, hear, see and learn about agriculture and the many ways it impacts our communities. Since time immemorial people in the Tualatin Valley have used their labor and technology to maximize the amount of nourishing food and valuable plant products that grow in this fertile area. Those efforts have re-formed human habits and social structures as well as the physical landscape. This interactive exhibit centers on eight oral histories drawn from the museum’s archive housed within Pacific University’s digital exhibits. These individuals, some historic and some contemporary, speak to the field of agriculture through their personal experiences and the experiences of their families and ancestors. Together they become a dialogue across time, culture and technology that highlights many facets of agriculture’s impact on us all.
“So many different cultural groups have participated in food and resource cultivation over the history of the Tualatin Valley that we knew we could not create a single narrative for this exhibit that could reflect them all,” says Molly Alloy, Community Engagement Coordinator for the museum and Guest Curator of this exhibit. “Our hope is that by letting individual voices express different perspectives on agriculture we can show that the industry as a whole impacts each of us, but in different ways.”
Photography, video, illustration, an interactive drawing station and historical objects from the museum’s collection surround and take inspiration from these stories. Photographer Leslie Peltz’s pensive black and white images invite the viewer into quiet moments she has encountered in her outings across Washington County to document silos. The museum also commissioned work from illustrators Allynn Carpenter and Anke Gladnick, as well as video artist Jayson Wynkoop. Gladnick’s illustration, a huge sweeping mural rich with color and details, knits together elements from all of the oral histories to give a visual overview of changing cultivation technologies over time. Wynkoop's video nods toward alternative and future possibilities for the farming industry, and Carpenter's tender portraits feature oral history community members and bring them together across time and space. The drawing station invites visitors to share their visions of and experience with agriculture. These drawings will be exhibited along with the three youth contestant winners who submitted artwork answering the question, "What does agriculture mean to you?" during an open call last school year. Historic objects from the museum’s collection will be featured throughout the exhibit so that visitors can experience first-hand some of the tools that have helped shape the land around them.
Featuring the personal narratives of:
Vlasta Becvar Barber
Aya Iwasaki Fujii
Jean Edwards Muir
The public is invited to the opening reception on September 27th from 6pm to 8pm. Be among the first to see the new show, and meet some of the artists and individuals featured in the oral histories. Free to all ages, the event includes refreshments and entrance to all the permanent exhibits as well.
The exhibit includes Spanish translations of all English text, written transcripts of all audio segments and is wheelchair accessible.
The Washington County Museum has provided community members and visitors an opportunity to experience and understand the richness of local history, heritage and culture for more than 50 years. Located on the Portland Community College Rock Creek Campus, the museum is currently open from 10am to 4pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays weekly. Beginning on September 27th, the museum will introduce new extended hours: Wednesday through Saturday, 10am - 3pm.