Can Touch This: A Multi-Sensory Exhibition

Cascade Paragon Gallery

Can Touch This

An exhibition of visual art that engages multiple senses curated by Public Annex.

  • Dates: September 21 – October 20, 2018
  • Opening reception: Friday, September 21, 5-8pm
  • Gallery hours: Wednesday – Friday 12-7pm, Saturday 12-5pm

Paragon Arts Gallery at PCC Cascade presents Can Touch This, a multi-sensory exhibition of visual work curated by Public Annex. Please join us for an opening reception on Friday, September 21 from 5-8pm featuring a presentation by artist Morgan Steward. Public programming continues with a scent-based workshop led by artist Catherine Haley Epstein on Wednesday, September 26 from 10am-2pm, and concludes with an exhibition talk by artists and Public Annex organizers on Friday, October 19, 2018 from 6-8pm. All events are free and open to all people along the disability spectrum.

Can Touch This presents work by artists, makers and organizations who are concerned with the experiential qualities of visual art that lie beyond the eye, and situate themselves instead within the multi-sensory. In an effort to challenge a notion of a dominant sense, the works curated include access points for engagement in non-visual ways: through touch, sound, smell and taste. In this way, Public Annex considers exhibition design and curatorial praxis that intentionally dismantles sensory bias. Can Touch This invites patrons to reassess the concepts of biological privilege and limitation while transgressing the many seen and unseen barriers present in typical contemporary art exhibitions.

“Touch teaches us that life has depth and contour; it makes our sense of the world and ourself three-dimensional. Without that intricate feel for life there would be no artists, whose cunning is to make sensory and emotional maps, and no surgeons, who dive through the body with their fingers.” A Natural History of the Senses by Diane Ackerman

The exhibition includes work from:

  • Vickie Anderson
  • Cyan Bott
  • Hannah Piper Burns
  • Maura Campbell-Balkits
  • Catherine Haley Epstein
  • Perry Johnson
  • Colin Kippen
  • Tyler Mackie
  • Alyssa Martin
  • Mareika Mirsch (Cromika)
  • Lawrence Oliver
  • Morgan Steward
  • Larry Supnet
  • Amanda Triplett
  • Anthony White

Along with collaboratively authored works by:

Public Annex
OSLP Arts & Culture Program

Special thanks and more info

With special thanks to Sabine M. Rear, Sandy Sampson and Hasan Mahmood for consultation, guidance and production on the exhibition design and identity.

For more information on this exhibition and all Public Annex programming, please visit: publicannex.org.

About the curators

Public Annex is a non-profit organization in Portland, Oregon that provides accessible urban farming and arts programming, focusing on inclusivity of artists and farmers with developmental disabilities. Our mission is to break down systemic barriers that prohibit marginalized populations from inclusivity by building a community around accessible farming and art programming.