Oregon Contemporary

Oregon Center for Contemporary Art (also known as Oregon Contemporary, formerly Disjecta) is an art center in Portland, Oregon. It is home to the Portland Biennial since 2010, continuing in the tradition of the Portland Art Museum's ended Oregon Biennial.[1]


Oregon Contemporary's Curator in Residence program began in 2011 and is the first of its kind in the region. Curators include Lucy Cotter (2021–22), Justin Hoover (2019–20), Suzy Halajian (2018-19), Julia Greenway (2017–18), Michele Fiedler (2016-17), Chiara Giovando (2015–16), Rachel Adams (2014-15), Summer Guthery (2013–14), Josephine Zarkovich (2012–13), and Jenene Nagy (2011-12).

Visual arts programming highlights include solo exhibitions by Natalie Ball, Avantika Bawa, Karl Burkheimer, Tannaz Farsi, Anna Fidler, Chris Fraser, Dan Gilsdorf, Peter Halley, Mark Licari, and Jenene Nagy.[2]

In 2010 (then known as Disjecta), Oregon Contemporary launched the first Portland Biennial. The Biennial, which originated at the Portland Art Museum in 1949, is a major survey of Oregon artists who define and advance the state's contemporary arts landscape. The Portland 2019 Biennial was curated by a group of three regional curators–Yaelle S. Amir, Elisheba Johnson, and Ashley Stull-Meyers. The Biennial received positive reviews particularly for including new, diverse voices [3] and a wider curatorial scope [4] than previous biennials.

Past curators of the Biennial include Cris Moss (2010),[5][6] Prudence F. Roberts (2012),[7] Amanda Hunt (2014),[8] and Michelle Grabner (2016).[9]


Oregon Contemporary, was founded under the name, 'Disjecta' as a non-profit art organization in 2005 with the goals of moving to an expanded 20,000 sf space in North Park Blocks. The plans were launched with a high profile party.[10] Disjecta then moved to the Templeton Building on what is now known as the Burnside Bridgehead.[11]

In 2008, Disjecta announced the public opening of a 20,000 sf facility at 8371 N Interstate in the historic Kenton neighborhood.[11] The center now houses five fully leased artist studios, along with 3,500 square feet of visual exhibition space, a 600 sf performance space, and an open space that houses performances and community events.

In 2016, Disjecta announced the departure of founder, Bryan Suereth, amid some mild controversy.[12] The board hired Blake Shell as executive director in April 2017. On June 14, 2021, Disjecta was officially renamed the Oregon Center for Contemporary Art (or Oregon Contemporary, for short).[13]


  1. ^ "Portland2010 Biennial Artists Announced". Portland Monthly. Retrieved 2019-08-21.
  2. ^ Stangel, Matt. "Disjecta Nabs Nagy | Art". Portland Mercury. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  3. ^ "The Curators of This Year's Portland Biennial Imagine the Future of Regional Art by Uncovering Oregon's Past". Willamette Week. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  4. ^ Ham, Robert. "Disjecta's Portland 2019 Biennial: North Interstate Love Song". Portland Mercury. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  5. ^ "Looking at 'Portland 2010," Disjecta's take on the Oregon Biennial". OregonLive.com. 2010-03-13. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  6. ^ Stangel, Matt. "Disjecta Grows Arms | Art". Portland Mercury. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  7. ^ "Biennial 2012". disjecta. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  8. ^ Baer, April. "Portland2014 Through LA Curator's Eyes". www.opb.org. Retrieved 2019-09-18.
  9. ^ "PORTLAND2016 BIENNIAL". disjecta. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  10. ^ D.K. Row (October 28, 2004). "Art on the Move: One Last Party At Disjecta's Arts-performance Space ...and a Planned Resurrection". The Oregonian. Retrieved 2014-04-13.
  11. ^ a b Richard Speer (4 November 2009). "HOT SEAT: Bryan Suereth: Older and wiser, Disjecta's founder bets on a better arts future despite economic woes". Willamette Week. Archived from the original on 10 November 2009. Retrieved 2010-12-04.
  12. ^ Baer, April. "Portland Contemporary Arts Center DISJECTA Ousts Founding Director Bryan Suereth". www.opb.org. Retrieved 2017-11-08.
  13. ^ Bass, Riley (June 18, 2021). "Disjecta Is Now the Oregon Center for Contemporary Art". Portland Monthly. Retrieved 2021-08-21.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: url-status (link)

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