Two video installations by Portland-based artist Vanessa Renwick on view at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Renwick is known for her installations that combine video and sculpture and create a unique viewing experience for visitors


EUGENE, Ore. -- (April 15, 2014) – The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, in conjunction with Cinema Pacific, presents “Hunting Requires Optimism” and “Medusa Smack,” two video installations by Portland-based artist Vanessa Renwick. On view from April 25 to June 29, 2014, and made possible by a JSMA Academic Support Grant, Renwick’s installations address serious issues related to our environment in often humorous ways.


The installations open with a free, public reception on Friday, April 25, from 6 to 8 p.m., during which Cinema Pacific’s “Fringe Festival” will be presented in the JSMA’s lounge and café.  On Saturday, April 26, at 8 p.m., as part of Cinema Pacific, Renwick presents “Hope and Prey,” a three- screen work of adrenaline-pumping nature/wolf cinematography, accompanied by an hyper-dynamic score by Portland's infamous underground composer Daniel Menche. Tickets for this performance are $6-8 and available online at


On the final day of Cinema Pacific, Sunday, April 27, at 2 p.m., the wildlife-inspired art of media and performance artists Renwick and Deke Weaver will be discussed in a free panel discussion, “Art for Endangered Species,” with the artists joined by environmental studies scholar Ted Toadvine, head of UO Philosophy department, and Carla Bengtson, UO Department of Art.


On Saturday, May 24, at 2 p.m., Renwick will return for a free artist talk on her two installations.


“Vanessa Renwick’s films and media installations, which physically engage us with wild humans and animals, have earned her growing recognition by many, including me, as the most important experimental media artist in the Pacific Northwest,” says Cinema Pacific director and curator Richard Herskowitz.


“Hunting Requires Optimism,” on view in the Artist Project Space, contrasts the challenges wolves face in finding food with those of humans seeking sustenance. Comprised of refrigerators and videos, the installation focusses on hunts experienced by the North American Gray Wolf, which has a 90% failure rate.


“Medusa Smack”, an immersive video installation in 240A (off the Barker Gallery), has a score composed and performed by Tara Jane O'Neil that includes sounds recorded by the artist Harry Bertoia on his Sonambient sound sculptures. In this work, visitors lie on soft pillows beneath a large, jellyfish-shaped screen with projections of Pacific sea nettles and moon jellyfish photographed at the Oregon Coast Aquarium.


Renwick, founder and janitor of the Oregon Department of Kick Ass, lives in Portland, Oregon. Renwick’s installations have been displayed at the Centre Pompidou, the Tacoma Art Museum, PDX Contemporary Art, and the Elizabeth Leach Gallery, and her films have screened internationally. Renwick’s work can also be seen in “layover: new work by Vanessa Renwick,” on view through May 17, 2014, at The Art Gym, Marylhurst University.


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, Europe and elsewhere as well as changing special exhibition galleries.  The JSMA is one of six museums in the state of Oregon—and the only university museum--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. 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 Cinema Pacific

Cinema Pacific is an annual film festival based at the University of Oregon in Eugene that is devoted to discovering and fostering the creativity of international films and new media from Pacific-bordering countries, including the U.S. Through onsite and online presentations, the festival connects stimulating artists and ideas with a diverse public, furthering our understanding of world cultures and contemporary issues. The 2014 Cinema Pacific featuring FOCUS: TAIWAN and FOCUS: CHILE is APRIL 23 - 27, 2014.


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, Communications Manager, 541-346-0942,


Link: Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art,