Portraits in Red: Missing & Murdered Indigenous People Painting Project, Feb. 2, 2023 – May 7, 2023

Exhibition Run Dates: February 2 – May 7, 2023

Opening Reception:  February 2, 4-7 PM

Opening Event:  Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians Blessing Ceremony – 4PM

WOMEN’S HISTORY MONTH EVENTS AT THE PMHC

Panel Discussion: March 23, 6PM

Featuring visiting artist Nayana LaFond and others

Art Demonstration: March 25, 1PM Painting Demonstration by Nayana L

Exhibition Summary

The Lincoln County Historical Society is proud to host this very important and timely exhibition by indigenous artist Nayana Lafond. According to Executive Director Susan Tissot, “this exhibition is about bringing awareness and healing to the communities it visits. The MMIWG2S has reached a crisis stage impacting indigenous communities throughout north America. There are four Siletz tribal members in this exhibition which illustrates that our community is not immune to the issues related to this horrific crisis. We bring this exhibition to the community in partnership with the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians and My Sisters Place. The exhibit contains 41 portraits of indigenous people who are either missing, murdered, or working as advocates to bring forth awareness. LaFond has taken great care to respectfully represent the people she paints for this project.”

“I want to paint them the way the spirits would see them,” the artist Nayana Lafond says of the 40 portraits in the exhibition.  All are of missing or murdered indigenous people, or activists committed to the cause for generating awareness and honoring those who have been lost.

I began this painting project without the intention of it becoming a project at all. I intended to make one painting as a catharsis and tribute to a domestic violence survivor and my matrilineal line.  The response to the first painting was so strong I decided to paint another. This began on May 5, 2020 when I was in quarantine and looking for something to occupy my time.

After an even larger online response to the second portrait, I decided to tell people that if they send me their images, I would paint them to raise awareness about the crisis. Within the first day I received 25 emails and private messages with images and stories. I soon figured out that I needed to paint them all. I could not say yes to some and say no to others. As of September 2022 I have completed 90 works and have a constant queue of 30 or more at a time.

I paint them all for free, and I provide unlimited free prints to the families while exhibiting the originals to raise awareness. Because of so many messages and requests coming in, I declared it to be a project – the MMIWG/P Painting project began.

Each portrait is painted in black and white with red being the only visible color because spirits can only see red. Through painting these people, I seek to elevate their voices, promote healing and spark discussion while contributing toward change. Each painting brings me healing from my own experiences and the experiences of my family members and I hope it brings some healing to those I paint and their families.

Among Nayana LaFond’s subjects in “Portraits in Red”, four are members of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, three are missing or murdered and one is an activist:  Delight Attebury, Manuel Bayya, and Anthony Tolentino; Lucy is an 18-year-old advocate.

I also hope to raise awareness about this issue through exhibiting the work. Eventually if I do make the work available for sale I will donate to various charities including the NIWRC (National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center).

Artist Statement

Nayana (B 1981) is a full-time multidisciplinary artist and activist who resides with her child in Western Massachusetts. She attended Greenfield Community College and Massachusetts College of Art for Photography and then dropped out to become a full-time painter. Her paintings can be seen in collections, galleries, and museums around the world.

Nayana has been a curator and community arts organizer for over 20 years including former founding Chief Curator for The Whitney Center for the Arts. She also sits on several arts organization boards, including “Artist Organized Art”, and is an advisor for “Be The Change” and “The Native Youth Empowerment Foundation”.

Nayana’s work often deals with issues related to trauma and violence including her experiences as a Leukemia and Bone Marrow transplant and DV survivor.

Exhibit Support & Partners: Newport News Times, Central Oregon Coast NOW, Advantage Real Estate, Best Western Agate Beach, Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, My Sisters Place (MSP).

Additional Information

Because our region has been impacted by this horrible crisis, I (Susan Tissot) reached out to museum colleagues in Oregon and Washington to ensure that this important project is seen in our region. Here is the schedule of PNW exhibition run dates:

  • Pacific Maritime Heritage Center, Newport OR, Contact Person: Susan Tissot Jan 27 – May 7, 2023 
  • Columbia Pacific Heritage Museum, Ilwaco, WA, Contact Person: Madeline Matson May 19 – July 8, 2023. 
  • Wanapum Cultural Center, Ellensburg, WA, Contact Person: Angela Neller July 15 – October 15, 2023
  • Yakima Valley Museum, Yakima, WA Contact Person: Heath Lambe October 20 – January 15, 2024
  • Tamastslikt Cultural Center in Pendleton, OR, Contact Person: Randall Melton Feb 3 – May 6, 2024.

Press:

Read ‘Portraits in RED’ artist Nayana LaFond honors missing and murdered Indigenous people in Oregon Artswatch

Read “Seeing red Newport exhibit shines light on hidden tragedy.” in Oregon Coast Today


Moving Image Show at the PMHC

Did you know that the LCHS has a large historic image collection in our archives? With help from museum volunteer Carol Shenk, we are strutting our stuff in the form of a Moving Image Show on the exterior front windows of the Doerfler Family Theater at the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center. Using about 60 images from our collection, Carol spent 150 hours creating this very cool production. Come check out the image show after dark on Thursday – Sunday evenings. The show runs until 10 PM. The best vantage point is from the boardwalk directly across from the museum. The Moving Image Show will remain active during the next few months until daylight hours restrict the viewing time. The show is free and provides a great excuse to hang out and have dinner on the Newport Bayfront.

Check out the recent article featured in the news:

https://www.oregoncoasttoday.com/home/a-window-into-the-past


Burrows House Holiday Lighting Ceremony and Cookie Decorating

November 19, 2022, 4-6 PM

Location: Burrow’s House
545 SW 9th St. Newport, OR 97365
541-265-7509 oregoncoasthistory.org

With assistance from the Newport Fire Department the LCHS is installing colorful Holiday Lights on the 1895 Burrows House located at 545 SW 9th Street, Newport, OR. On Saturday November 19 from 4 -6 PM the public is invited to join in as we throw the light switch on for the first time. In addition to the lighting ceremony, My Petite Sweet bakery is generously sponsoring a free holiday cookie decorating activity inside the Carriage House which is located directly next door to the Burrows House. This family friendly lighting ceremony and cookie decorating event is free and open to the public. The holiday lights will continue to bring joy each evening through Jan 1. Curb side parking is available on 9th street.


Estuaries: Past and Present Connections between Land and Sea

Free Panel Discussion

Panel Discussion: October 25, 2022, 2 PM

Location: Pacific Maritime Heritage Center
333 E Bay Blvd. Newport, OR 97365
541-265-7509 oregoncoasthistory.org
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday, 11am-4pm

The Lincoln County Historical Society invites the public to attend a free panel discussion on Estuary Conservation at 2 PM on Tuesday October 25, 2022. The panel discussion will be held inside the Doerfler Family Theater at the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center located on Newport’s Historic Bayfront, directly above Port Doc 5. The Maritime Center has free on-site parking and for this event, museum admission fees are waived.

Estuaries are crucial habitat for a wide variety of fish and wildlife. Juvenile fish and other organisms benefit tremendously from the complex, resource rich environment of estuaries. Join us for a panel discussion looking at the past and present connections between the land and sea and current conservation activities in Lincoln County and the Central Oregon Coast. Dr. Angee Doerr, Assistant Professor of Practice, OSU Extension Service, Lincoln County will moderate the panel. Panelists include Evan Hayduk, Council Coordinator, MidCoast Watersheds Council; Lisa Phipps, Program Manager, Oregon Coastal Management Program at Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development; Derek Wilson, Habitat Conservation Biologist, Oregon Department of Fish & Wildlife; and Dr. Jim Kaldy, Ecologist, US EPA Pacific Ecological Systems Division.

This panel discussion is being held in conjunction with the Tidewaters: Looking Back Along Oregon’s Coast Range Rivers exhibition currently on display at the Pacific Maritime Heritage Center in Newport. Tidewaters includes a series of Platinum/palladium images created by Corvallis photographer and author Rich Bergeman. The exhibition also includes Native American basketry from the LCHS Copeland Collection and a rich historical narrative about Oregon’s coastal rivers and estuaries. For more information contact the PMHC at 541-265-7509 or director@oregoncoasthistory.org.