KSMoCA hosts three rotating exhibitions per academic year with work by nationally and internationally recognized contemporary artists. Each artist leads a workshop intensive with MLK Jr Students, where they make collaborative work through a process inspired by the artist’s practice. The resulting work is exhibited in the main exhibition hallway alongside original works by the participating artist.
Abrazos/Hugs is an exhibition of work by Mexican feminist artist and activist Mónica Mayer. Her exhibition at KSMoCA includes images and ephemera from two participatory artworks she has exhibited around the globe: El Tendedero/The Clothesline Project and Abrazos/Hugs. The exhibition includes artwork made by students in Ms. Jones’ 5th grade class, who participated in a hug-reinvention workshop with the artist.
Workshop is an exhibition of new original works by Arnold J. Kemp. His exhibition at KSMoCA includes large masks made from aluminum foil and scanned drawing works by students in Ms. Moscy’s 3rd Grade who, following Kemp's lead, have been incorporating elements of chance and concentrated periods of observation to challenge notions about art.
From The Archive is the inaugural exhibition of the MLK Jr. Gallery is a collection of various drawings, paintings, and collages found in the KSMoCA archives.
Graphic Interventions is a collection of excerpts of pages from the comics and stories of Melanie Stevens.
Sunday Paintings is an exhibition of small paintings of the sky that Byron Kim makes every Sunday. On the surface of these paintings, he writes a journal entry, just a few thoughts, a description of the weather or just something about his life or his family and friends. He has been doing this since January 9, 2001, so there are over 800 of these paintings. His exhibition at KSMoCA includes just the recent ones. The show includes work by two students from each grade level (K-8), who made Sunday paintings on a Thursday.
In Inheritance, artist Samantha Wall worked with images of the women in her family and positioned them as protagonists within a collective narrative. By weaving stories with elements from Korean tradition and Classical myth, the exhibition speaks from the artist’s experiences as a woman of color and immigrant. The show includes work by students in Ms. Jones’ 5th grade class who selected portraits of protagonists in their lives. In a workshop with Samantha Wall, students rendered these portraits through a similar process the artist used in her own work.
Excursions by Ralph Pugay features playful visual narratives that juxtapose cultural norms to perplexingly surreal and humorous effects. The exhibition includes 12 original works by the artist and a large scroll of Imaginary Islands made by by students in Mr. Caldwell’s 4th grade and Ms. McCarthy’s 3rd/4th grade classes during a workshop with the artist. Students were asked to imagine and illustrate the living beings and scenarios they would like to encounter on an island. Their drawings then rotated around the room for other students to complete.
Not Self-Portraits is a collaborative exhibition featuring work by Laylah Ali and students from Mrs. McCarthy’s 4th grade and Ms. Johnson's 5th grade classes who participated in a workshop with the artist. Ali’s paintings explore relationships between race, gender, and social status influenced by personal experiences. Prior to the workshop, each student posed for photographic portraits expressing contrasting emotions. In the workshop, each student selected a photograph of a classmate to draw.
On Moonless Nights features artwork by Brooklyn-based artist Chitra Ganesh. Her work is inspired by fairy tales, mythology, iconography, and comic books. The show includes original pieces by Ganesh as a well artwork created by Ms. Johnson's (5th) and Mr. Caldwell's (4th) classes, who participated in a workshop with Ganesh to create drawings of superheroes inspired by people in their everyday lives.
Introduction to Galactic Alienology features work by Carson Ellis and her son Hank Meloy. The show is a collaboration between Ellis, PSU students and students at Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School with work is inspired by interviews between Ellis and her son Hank. Exhibition includes works portraying Hank’s and MLK Jr. students' imagined alien creatures.
Our Civil Rights History, Revisited is an exhibition of re-created historical photographs depicting some of the most pivotal images in the civil rights movement, both locally and nationally. PSU and 5th grade students at King discussed these images and events and restaged them. KSMoCA has the honor of revisiting and displaying these historic works.
Let’s Go Inside the Paper to Go Inside the Museum is a collaborative art project. Ms. Ellis’s 3rd grade class at King School in NE Portland, OR and Portland State University (PSU) Art and Social Practice students worked together to explore what a museum is and could be. Working in small groups, the third graders were prompted by the PSU students to imagine and illustrate their own museum ideas. The resulting designs were transformed into posters displayed at KSMoCA and in the surrounding community. Collectively, the students acted as artists and curators, creating work for both the school’s contemporary art museum and a neighborhood public art project.
not MoMA is a collaborative art project between Stephanie Syjuco, Ms. Ellis’s 3rd grade class and Ms. Asay’s 6th grade class, and PSU students. PSU and King students explored the online collection of the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) and decided to curate artworks for re-creation around the theme Shared Space. Working in small groups the third graders followed Syjuco’s written instructions to decide which works they wanted to make and shared their thoughts on why these works appealed to them. Collectively, the students acted as artists, curators, and docents to present notMoMA.
Postcards from America is an ongoing photographic experiment. Since 2011, the Postcards project has traveled to eight locations across the country. Nearly twenty Magnum Photo Agency photographers have been involved with the project. Portland is one of the last stops forPostcards from America and seven photographers have come here to document a wide variety of subjects in the city, including King School, in conjunction with PSU’s Art and Social Practice MFA Program.
KSMoCA’s inaugural exhibition features work selected by students at King School from all of the past Postcards locations and has been overseen by Magnum photographer Alec Soth and various PSU-related volunteers.