Artists Victoria Suescum and Lee Michael Peterson Explore Spanish/English Identity in New Exhibition at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

“¿Identity?” is on view in the Artist’s Project Space through September 18, 2016


EUGENE, Ore. -- (July 11, 2016) –  A new exhibition entitled “¿Identity?” is on view at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon campus. In this collaborative exhibition, on view through September 18, 2016, artists Victoria Suescum and Lee Michael Peterson explore elements of identifying as Latino/a within American culture.


Suescum, born to Panamanian parents in the United States, grew up in Panama before returning to the U.S. permanently in 1988. Raised in Texas’s Rio Grande Valley and son to a Caucasian father and Hispanic mother, Peterson is the product of differing but equally influential cultures. Both artists draw inspiration from their multicultural backgrounds to express issues surrounding self-identity within the Latino/a culture.


Suescum’s vibrant paintings are inspired by hand-painted Spanish-language storefront signs. Images that are typically overlooked in the street are repurposed and re-presented in the museum gallery setting. Peterson uses modern technology as the starting point for his drawings, Googling the names of his friends and creating portraits of other people with the same name. By switching out the faces of his friends for strangers, Peterson questions the role of a name in establishing identity.


“This exhibition initiated the JSMA's 2016-17 focus on "American Identity,” says Jill Hartz, JSMA executive director. “From images of football in American art to confrontational works by contemporary African American artists to a California artist's study of the Qur'an, we ask our audiences to consider what it mean to be an American, to live in the United States for all of us.” 


On Wednesday, July 20, at 5:30 p.m., Suescum will lead a gallery talk on the issues surrounding identity that comes from multigenerational Latino/a heritage represented by the artists themselves and their work. 


This exhibition is supported by Drs. Elizabeth D. Moyer and Michael C. Powanda.


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, the Americas and Europe as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of seven museums 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.


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.


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


Links: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,