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VIZ CITY BLOG: Audio, photos, transcripts & more by Terry Way and Sandy Brown Jensen.Airs every other Wednesday during Morning Edition and Here & Now.

3 Shows on the Black Experience and Libby Wadsworth’s “InFormation” at JSMA

artist at work
By permission of the photographer, Mike Bragg


  This is Sandy Brown Jensen, and you’re listening to Viz City, KLCC’s arts review program. In case you haven’t noticed, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is open for your viewing pleasure Wednesday through Sunday. A visit makes a fine break in your routine. There’s always something thoughtful to see and think about.


Right now, you can see three related exhibits. First, there is an international art campaign called 56 Black Men, and you can see an inspiring selection here. It is part of an art initiative out of the UK to change the narrative around the representation of Black men in media.


billboard in London
Credit Screenshot 56 Black Men.com
56 Black Men is an international art initiative

Second is a show called “I am More Than Who You See,” created by UO faculty Lisa Abia-Smith. The exhibit documents community conversations with UO students of color about stereotyping.


And third, is “Black Lives Matter.” The Museum awarded grants, and this is a show of work by the artists who won the grants.



Credit Courtesy Libby Wadsworth
In Formation, 2020. Letterpress on duralar over photographs, 11 x 8 inches (each).

But wait! There’s more! Eugene’s own Libby Wadsworth has a one-woman show called “Always In Formation.” The title can be said “Information,” or “in formation,” and that’s a major clue as to the nature of her work. She sees words and letters as graphic  design elements and has fun finding words within words and odd correspondences. She has a cool hand letterpress and prints her creations old school.

Credit Courtesy LIbby Wadsworth
whereas, 2020. Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches.

The letters are typed over paintings and photographs in series.

I’m trying to explain her work as simply as I can, so you can get the basic idea, but Libby is pretty far down this particular rabbithole, and it’s quite the trip to follow her down as I recently did via a Zoom artist interview.


My head was spinning by the time we came up for air because Libby’s thinking about her art is anything but simple.

Credit Courtesy Libby Wadsworth
but also, 2020. Oil on canvas, 20 x 16 inches.

Just one example, although you have to go see and figure out this show for yourself.

A series called “fracture'' was created during the COVID years and is about our collective crisis. She represents this idea with subtle, low-key images of broken teacups. Then she prints her words; for example butter/utter or bread\read over them as your eye slides between the image and the text, which is exactly what she has in mind.


This is a really intriguing show, and I hope you go see it and others at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the UO campus.


This is Sandy Brown Jensen for KLCC.


Credit Courtesy of Libby Wadsworth
grasping, 2020. Letterpress on duralar and paper, 11 x 8 inches.




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