”West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977” on view at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

A series of programs complements the exhibition, which opens with a free reception on February 8, 6-8 p.m.


EUGENE, Ore. -- (January 15, 2013) – The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art looks back at the art of the ‘60s and ‘70s with “West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977,” on view February 9 through April 28, 2013. The exhibition opens with a free, public reception on Friday, February 8, from 6 to 8 p.m.


In the heady and hallucinogenic days of the 1960s and ’70s, a diverse range of artists and creative individuals based in the American West—from the Pacific Coast to the Rocky Mountains and the Southwest—broke the barriers between art and lifestyle and embraced the new, hybrid sensibilities of the countercultural movement. “West of Center” explores their unique integration of art practices, political action, and collaborative life activities.


Featuring videos, photographs, drawings, constructions, ephemera, and other artifacts, the exhibition addresses the experiential art activities that incorporated dance, video, performance, political action and communal life, all aimed at creating utopian life-styles, personal growth, and social transformation. The countercultural movement has typically been associated with psychedelic art, but “West of Center” presents psychedelia as only one dimension of a wider integration of art practices.


Curated by Elissa Auther and Adam Lerner, from the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, “West of Center” brings together a range of projects by groups and individuals.  This includes the multi-media light show “The Single Wing Turquoise Bird,” a 15-foot tall geodesic dome and video environment presenting the hand-built architecture of Drop City commune, in Colorado,; video and photographic documentation of dances by Anna Halprin, performances by The Cockettes and The Angels of Light, an inflatable installation designed by the collective Ant Farm , and ephemera from the Black Panthers and Lesbian Feminist Communes in Southern Oregon.


“West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977” is organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art Denver. The exhibition is supported, in part, with funds provided by the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) and the National Endowment for the Arts. It is made possible at the JSMA by the Coeta and Donald Barker Special Exhibitions Endowment Fund and JSMA members


Following its showing at the JSMA, “West of Center,” will be on view at Mills College Art Museum, Oakland, CA, from June 12 to September 1, 2013.


A series of programs including curator’s talks, Schnitzer Cinema Film series, panels covering topics from the historical context to the Eugene connection, and Eugene’s first Inflato-Contest complement the exhibition. All programs take place at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art unless otherwise indicated.



Opening Reception: West of Center

Friday, February 8, 6–8 p.m.

Celebrate the opening of “West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977” with a free, opening reception.


Curator’s Talk: West of Center

Saturday, February 9, 2 p.m.

Adam Lerner, Director, Museum of Contemporary Art Denver, and co-curator of “West of Center”


Schnitzer Cinema: TVTV with Steve Christiansen

Wednesday, February 13, p.m.

TVTV was a pioneering video collective based in San Francisco from 1972-79.  Their radical coverage of the 1972 Republican Convention (Four More Years) and the 1976 Oscars (TVTV Looks at the Oscars) took on the establishment with a “guerilla television” aesthetics and politics. TVTV member Steve Christiansen will introduce and discuss tonight’s TVTV selections. Co-sponsored by the Cinema Pacific Film Festival


Before Utopia: The Political and Historical Context of West of Center

Wednesday, February 20, 5:30 p.m.

UO professors Joe Lowndes (Political Science), Marsha Weisiger (History), and Kate Mondloch (History of Art and Architecture) discuss topics expanding the social and political context of the West of Center era; moderated by  Jill Hartz. Topics for discussion include the complicated relationship between the New Left and the Counterculture, Feminist Art and Counterculture in California, and the connection between Earth Art and Environmental Activism.


West of Center: The Intentional Communities of Oregon and the Legacy of Jim Kopp

Friday, February 22, 3 p.m.

Location: Knight Library Browsing Room

Dr. Timothy Miller, professor of Religious Studies, Kansas University, examines the intentional communities in Oregon, including the lesbian land communities featured in West of Center. He also discusses Kopp’s research to uncover and preserve that important history. Sponsored by Special Collections and University Archives, University of Oregon Libraries


Artist’s Gallery Talk: Violet Ray

Wednesday, February 27, 5:30 p.m.

Media artist Violet Ray will discuss his 1960s collage series "Advertising the Contradictions," which will be displayed in the North Upper Hallway of the museum as a complement to “West of Center.” Ray created his unique ad collages by inserting disturbing new imagery into real advertisements to reveal the hidden meaning and subconscious values of consumer culture.


Eugene’s First Incredible Inflato-Contest

45 W. Broadway Eugene, OR 97401

Friday, March 1, 5:30-8:00 pm

The JSMA will present inflatable environments designed by 4 finalist teams from our Incredible Inflato-Contest at the Lane Art Council’s First Friday Artwalk. Visitors will hear the teams discuss their designs, explore the inflatables inside and out, and vote on a winner for the contest. Co-sponsored by Master Capital Management See for more information.


Eugene Counterculture: Then and Now

Sunday, March 3, 2 p.m.

An informal discussion about the countercultural history of our local community, and the legacy of the 1960s and 1970s for Eugene today. Panelists Kim Still (Saturday Market), Judith “Sparky” Roberts (Theater professor, LCC, and performance artist), Suzy Prozanski (author of Fruit of the Sixties), and Ron Eachus (former editor, Daily Emerald, and current political columnist for Salem’s Statesman Journal) will share stories about Eugene during the “West of Center” years.


Schnitzer Cinema: The Haight-Asbury Quartet with Loren Sears

Wednesday, March 13, 7:00 p.m.

Film and video artist Loren Sears shows and discusses a selection of his early work, including the “Haight-Ashbury Quartet” and “The Pacific Lake.” Each of the four films in the quartet, which dates from 1967 to 1971, is a personal documentary that uses superimposition and optical printing to portray private and communal life in San Francisco. Co-sponsored by the Cinema Pacific Film Festival


Artist’s Talk: Fayette Hauser

Tuesday, April 9, 6 p.m.

Location TBD

Fayette Hauser was an original member of the Cockettes, and her photographs capture the group’s extension of their onstage theatrics to their off-stage life, from their opulently decorated communal home to their flamboyant everyday clothing.  Hauser will present an illustrated artist’s talk that focuses on the Cockettes’ influence on fashion and theater, as well as their efforts to break down barriers of gender identification. Co-sponsored by the Oregon Humanities Center's Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities and the Department of Art


Performance: Fayette Hauser

Wednesday, April 10, 7 p.m.

Fayette Hauser will screen rare performance footage of the Cockettes, followed by a live performance piece “Dear Diary,” which Hauser describes as a satirized version of her experiences with the Cockettes, including props and song, all with an absurdist touch. Co-sponsored by the Oregon Humanities Center's Endowment for Public Outreach in the Arts, Sciences, and Humanities and the Department of Art 


Schnitzer Cinema: The Video Art of Chip Lord and Ant Farm with Chip Lord

Wednesday, April 17, 7:00 p.m.

As a member of Ant Farm [1968-1978], Chip Lord produced the video art classics Media Burn and The Eternal Frame as well as the Cadillac Ranch sculpture in Amarillo, Texas. Since 1980 he has worked independently and in collaboration producing video installations and single channel videotapes. His work straddles documentary and experimental genres, often mixing the two, and has been shown widely at film and video festivals and in Museums.Co-sponsored by the Cinema Pacific Film Festival


Artist’s Talk: Chip Lord

Thursday, April 18, 6 p.m.

Location TBD

A founding member of the artist collective Ant Farm, Lord discusses Ant Farm’s experiments with inflatable architecture and nomadic lifestyle. Co-Sponsored by the Departments of Architecture, Art and History of Art and Architecture


Panel: Womyn and Grrrls, Riot!: An Intergenerational Discussion on Radical Lesbian Feminist Communities

Wednesday, April 24, 5:30 p.m.

West of Center co-curator Elissa Auther moderates a panel with two former members of the WomanShare collective, Billie Miracle and Carol Newhouse, and Oakland-based artist Tammy Rae Carland. Cosponsored by the Center for the Study of Women in Society, the Department of Women’s and Gender Studies, and the ASUO Women’s Center.



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 based in a major university setting. 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, America and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of six museums in Oregon accredited by the American Association 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. Tuesdays and 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.


About the University of Oregon

The University of Oregon is among the 108 institutions chosen from 4,633 U.S. universities for top-tier designation of "Very High Research Activity" in the 2010 Carnegie Classification of Institutions of Higher Education. The UO also is one of two Pacific Northwest members of the Association of American Universities.


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


Link: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,