News Release from Oregon Arts Commission
“Black Legend, Black, Oregon” explores the lore and living legend of black presence in Oregon through photographs of artists, elders, poets, historians, luminaries and beloved community members. Works in the exhibition include images from the artist’s ongoing photographic endeavor and exploratory blog The Black Portlanders as well as photographs taken around Oregon for the Urban League of Portland’s “State of Black Oregon” 2015 publication. She has been photographing and writing about people of African descent in Oregon since 2013.
Abioto is an artist engaged in dancing, photography and writing. Her work is united by a form of story inquiry that takes as it subject the authentic stories of people within the global African diaspora. Abioto has shown her photographs of people of African descent in Oregon at venues including at Multnomah County Public Library, Powell’s City of Books, University of Oregon White Box Gallery, Portland State University Littman Gallery and Ori Gallery. Her publication “The Black Portlands” documents the stories and experiences of black people in Portland alongside photographs of the interviewees. She was a contributing photographer to “MFON: Women Photographers of the African Diaspora” (2017). Abioto presented her work at TEDx Portland in 2016. She was selected in 2018 for Oregon Humanities’ fellowship program Emerging Journalists, Community Stories. Abioto has a degree in dance and has performed at Paragon Gallery, Portland Art Museum and Disjecta Contemporary Art Center.
The Art in the Governor’s Office Program honors selected artists in Oregon with exhibitions in the reception area of the Governor’s Office in the State Capitol. Artists are nominated by a statewide committee of arts professionals who consider artists representing the breadth and diversity of artistic practice across Oregon, and are then selected by the Arts Commission with the participation of the Governor’s Office. Only professional, living Oregon artists are considered and an exhibit in the Governor’s office is regarded as a “once in a lifetime” honor. Artists whose work has previously been shown in the Governor’s office include Henk Pander, Michele Russo, Manuel Izquierdo, James Lavadour, Margot Thompson, Gordon Gilkey and Yuji Hiratsuka.