Intisar Abioto Has Unfurled the Black Experience Inside the Portland Art Museum

Black Artists of Oregon opened Sept. 9, and, y’all, I haven’t been the same since.

Intisar Abioto. (Renee Lopez)

On today’s penultimate episode of the WW podcast I am sidestepping this week’s cover story— “Deep Dive: WW’s Guide to Portland’s Oldest, Dankest Dive Bars”—in favor of wrapping up on my own note.

And so today I’m thrilled to welcome Intisar Abioto, the curator of Black Artists of Oregon, the breathtaking exhibit currently showing at Portland Art Museum.

If you’ve been with me for a while, you likely picked up on how passionate I am about the arts, and about being Black, and about being a Black artist. So it felt very correct to invite Intisar onto the show to discuss how crucial her work is, not only as a curator, but also as a historian, a writer, an artist and a storyteller facilitating intergenerational storybuilding.

Black Artists of Oregon opened Sept. 9, and, y’all, I haven’t been the same since. There have only been a handful of times I’ve been moved to tears by a particular work of art or exhibition. This was absolutely one of those occasions. So many young talents, so many honorable elders, so many expressions of the Black experience, the human experience, the spiritual experience. It’s major you guys. Don’t sleep on it.

Intisar will join me to discuss the depth and breadth and crucial connections that make Black Artists of Oregon a monument in the larger landscape of American art.

Listen on Spotify.

Listen on Apple Podcasts.

Listen on Google Podcasts.

Carrie Mae Weems, Untitled (Woman with daughter), from the series Kitchen Table, 1990, gelatin silver prints, Gift of the Contemporary Art Council, © Carrie Mae Weems. Courtesy of the artist and Jack Shainman Gallery, New York., 94.19a-c

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.