Violet Ray “Advertising the Contradictions” opens in conjunction with “West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977.”

The Eugene-based media artist will give a talk on Wednesday, February 27, at 5:30 p.m.


EUGENE, Ore. -- (Feb, 6, 2012) – Organized to complement “West of Center: Art and the Counterculture Experiment in America, 1965-1977,” the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art presents  media artist Violet Ray’s “Advertising the Contradictions,”  activist-themed collaged works from the 1960s, on view February 9 through April 28, 2013. Ray will give an artist’s talk on Wednesday, February 27, at 5:30 p.m.


The Eugene-based artist employs advertising imagery and techniques to explore the values and subliminal effects of mass media in consumer society. Over the course of his career, through such media as collage, found object sculptures, photography, and performance art, his art has dramatized the powerful influence of consumer culture on our subconscious desires.


Born as an artistic persona during the heyday of the counterculture era, Ray made his first advertisement against the war in Vietnam in the winter of 1966 as part of an artist collective called the Eye Makers. With a stack of “Life” magazines, a pair of scissors, and a pot of rubber cement, Ray sought to penetrate the veneer of consumer culture by using the language of advertising for his own purposes.


Realizing the psychological power of advertising, Ray turned its utopian vision of American culture into an effective tool for antiwar protest. Juxtaposing images of violence, misfortune, and chaos with glossy pitches for beauty products, toiletries, beverages, and other commonplace products, Ray brought the gruesome reality of the Vietnam War into the intimate spaces of our daily lives.


Ray’s collages were reproduced and distributed as flyers at protests throughout the 1960s and 1970s. Later, Ray applied the same collage technique to a variety of other themes, including racial prejudice, sexism, and environmental degradation. In 1984, the best of his collages were published as a magazine-style catalog called “Advertising the Contradictions.” The catalog will available for sale in The Museum Store.


Violet Ray lives in Eugene and is currently working on a new series of mobile projections dealing with environmental issues like climate change and endangered species.



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,