HERE || Humboldt by the Black Life Experiential Research Group

Cascade Paragon Gallery

BLERG, Living out a love story, 2019, video still

BLERG, Living out a love story, 2019, video still

  • Exhibition Dates: April 4 – 25, 2019
  • Opening Reception and Black Life Sentinel Issue #2 Release: Saturday, April 13, 2019, 2 – 4 pm
  • Gallery Hours:
    • Wednesdays – Fridays, 12 – 7 pm
    • Saturdays, 12 – 5 pm
    • Closed Saturday, April 6 for special event
  • Public Programming – Social Emergency Response Center
    • Thursday, April 4, 2019, 12 – 9 pm
    • Friday, April 5, 2019, 12 – 7 pm

Paragon Arts Gallery at PCC Cascade presents HERE || Humboldt by the Black Life Experiential Research Group. Please join us for our Social Emergency Response Center events Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5, and opening reception on Saturday, April 13. All events are free and open to the public.

In HERE || Humboldt, Lisa K. Bates and Sharita Towne, also known as the Black Life Experiential Research Group (BLERG), present research-based art and activism from the past year as Artists-in-Residence for the Humboldt neighborhood. This work centers Black life of the past, present and future as integral to the community’s fabric.

BLERG worked with students and faculty at Jefferson High School, local organizations, neighbors, and local artists. We invite the public to take part through the Social Emergency Response Center in the gallery. The SERC is a space for collective information-sharing, idea-generating, and responding creatively to the ruptures in our community. It is a space of radical welcoming and healing. When you visit, you can record your stories of Black family and community in the StreamPDX Airstream trailer studio, see art and activism by Jefferson High School students, make art and share your ideas about how Black people and community can thrive.

The Black Life Sentinel is a community news project of BLERG with the Portland African-American Leadership Forum that shares news and voices from the Black community. The paper brings visibility to a long history of Black organizing and shows how through activism, we make new possibilities. Issue 2 focuses on public education.

HERE || Humboldt is made possible with support from the Regional Arts and Culture Council.

More Community Events:

“Black Place: Community Memory and Conversation” at North Portland Library
Tuesday, April 9, 2019, 6 – 7:30 pm

Our Black family photographs help us to remember not only our own stories, but those of our community and its history in Portland. We come together to learn and talk about Black Portland’s past and present, by looking at photos, videos, and listening to stories that have been collected, and think about how we might save these materials for our community. Join Humboldt neighborhood artists-in-residence the Black Life Experiential Research Group, along with Black community photographers, for conversation about photos, memory-keeping, and the meaning of Black neighborhood history in our changing city. Bring your favorite pictures, too!

About the artists

The Black Life Experiential Research Group is a think tank. Instead of dry analytical reports, it produces transmedia experiences. It anchors itself to a Black geography of Portland, but it doesn’t stop there. It’s porous and collaborative with diverse artists, thinkers, audiences, and cityscapes. It can fly through neighborhoods that were razed by slum clearance, exhume voices and documents that unsettle our understanding of what happened then, now, and can happen in the future. It gives language, shape, and form to Black imagination through public art and intervention, augmented reality, print, and video, to breathe possibilities back into sites of Black Life in Portland and beyond.

Instagram @blacklife_erg