Ben Buswell's artwork,"All at Once," is on display at the Hallie Ford Museum until Dec. 20. (Courtesy/Hallie Ford Museum of Art)
Inside the Hallie Ford Museum’s latest exhibition, five large books sit on a table. Some are open, filled with pages of notes, while others remain closed with single word prompts displayed on the side. “Love,” “Politics” and “Art” are among the titles in the “What Needs to Be Said” exhibition.
The title of the exhibition comes from the work by artist MK Guth, who created the series of blank books with prompts for gallery visitors to write in them. When the books are filled, Guth seals them.
Guth is one of 13 artists on display at the museum until Dec. 20 at 700 State St.
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Each of the artists received a $25,000 Hallie Ford Fellowship in the Visual Arts. The award is given to three to five Oregon artists each year.
The Ford Family Foundation started the visual arts program in 2010 to honor Oregon philanthropist Hallie Ford, who died in 2007. The goal of the program is to inspire deeper artistic expression, elevate creativity and excellence in the field and strengthen the vibrancy of Oregon’s visual arts ecology.
The exhibition, which includes the work of the program’s fellows from 2014 through 2016, debuted in Roseburg this spring and will travel to other parts of the state after its time in Salem.
One of the works critiques the long history of misrepresentation of Native people in popular media and culture. In particular, the work focuses on how images of the Montana-based Apsaalooke people are often mistakenly referred to as “Crow.”
Artist Wendy Red Star took a series of photographs from a delegation of Apsaalooke chiefs that traveled from Montana to Washington D.C. to negotiate for land rights in 1880. On the portraits, Red Star draws red lines that include commentary about the subject and in some, speech bubbles that state the chief’s name in the Apsaalooke language.
Wendy Red Star's artwork is on display at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art until Dec. 20. (Courtesy/Hallie Ford Museum of Art)
In the next room, a sweater hangs out of a plastic rectangle with a green bird peering over the top.
The work of Tannaz Farsi tempts the viewer to look for a deeper meaning in her work. In “Strata of Empire,” Farsi looks at the way day-to-day objects can become artifacts in our lives and speak to larger narratives.
In one piece, Farsi wraps a shirt her mother was wearing when the family moved from Iran to the United States around a photograph of a Persepolis ruin, blending personal history with political history.
Have a tip? Contact reporter Saphara Harrell at 503-549-6250, [email protected] or @daisysaphara.