“Art of the Athlete VII” and “Exploring Identity and Place through the Arts”, two exhibitions featuring UO Student artwork on view at the University of Oregon’s Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

EUGENE, Ore. -- (September 25, 2018) – The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus welcomes the return of “Art of the Athlete” for its seventh year. In conjunction with this exhibition, the JSMA celebrates the opening of “Exploring Identity and Place through the Arts: Aix-en-Provence.” Both exhibitions will be on view through February 3, 2019. The public is invited to a free reception on Wednesday, October 3, from 6:30 to 8 p.m.


Comprised of works of art created by UO students enrolled in AAD 408, as well as works from UO students enrolled in the Global Education Oregon (GEO) study abroad program participants and outreach to the Rainier Vista Boys and Girls Club in Seattle, Art of the Athlete features self-portraits and collaborative pieces inspired by iconic paintings from art history.


“The Art of the Athlete program focuses on giving participants meaningful opportunities to engage in art so they may integrate art into their lives for years to come,” says Lisa Abia-Smith, JSMA director of education. “This exhibition is one such example: it teaches university students and student athletes how the process of looking at and creating art translates to better observation skills and serves as an outlet for non-verbal creative expression.”


This year’s “Art of the Athlete” exhibition features work from the following student athletes: Ugo Amadi, football; Jacob Capra, football; Billy Gibson, football; Thomas Graham Jr., football; Cyrus Habibi-Likio, football; Justin Hollins, football; Sabrina Ionescu, women’s basketball; Abu Kigab , men’s basketball; Shane Lemieux, football; Sampson Niu, football; Sam Poutasi, football; Jordan Scott, football; Adam Stack, football; Haki Woods Jr., football; and Kenny Wooten, men’s basketball. The exhibition also includes works by Mengai Liang (Lili), Rex Manu, and Yin Wu.


This past June, twenty university students studied abroad in a GEO program designed by Abia-Smith at the site of her own study abroad university thirty years ago in Aix-en-Provence, France. During their program, students studied and addressed visual media and explored vehicles for creative expression from the standpoints of marginalization, isolation, and identity.


“The JSMA’s education courses and programs I teach for undergraduate and graduate students focus on diversity and inclusion through the arts. Assignments and museum projects always prompt students to reflect upon their own identity and use that exercise as a way to get to know who they are, but also let the public know who they are as individuals,” said Abia-Smith. “This summer, I wanted to give students a chance to know someone else, different than themselves.”


Participants used personal and artistic narrative to develop critical thinking, communication and visual literacy skills and were able to consider the idea that artistic creativity is sometimes the result of adversity. Selections of their work will be featured in the exhibition “Exploring Identity and Place through the Arts: Aix-en-Provence.”



About the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

The University of Oregon's Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a premier Pacific Northwest museum for exhibitions and collections of historic and contemporary art. The mission of the museum is to enhance the University of Oregon’s academic mission and to further the appreciation and enjoyment of the visual arts for the general public.  The JSMA features significant collections galleries devoted to art from China, Japan, Korea, Europe, and the Americas as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of seven museums—and the only academic art museum-- in Oregon accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.


The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is located on the University of Oregon campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Museum hours are 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesdays, and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Sundays. Admission is $5 for adults and $3 for senior citizens. Free admission is given to ages 18 and under, JSMA members, college students with ID, and University of Oregon faculty, staff and students. For information, contact the JSMA, 541-346-3027.


Contact: Debbie Williamson Smith, 541-346-0942,


Links: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,