I volunteer for a nonprofit organization on NE Alberta Street called Art on Alberta. In a few weeks, we're going to present the 10th Annual Art Hop, a day long, family friendly event that always features the work of an artists whose story is (hopefully) inspiring to the residents of this neighborhood and the people who love to visit. This year, also inspired by Oregon's sesquicentennial, we're honoring an artist whose name is unfortunately not more familiar: Thelma Johnson Streat. She attended Pacific Northwest College of Art, then known as the "Museum School" because of its affiliation with the Portland Art Museum, in the 1930's and went on to international recognition. Her African American and Native American heritage led her to proclaim a "one people in one world" philosophy in her artwork, dance, and educational philosophy. Streat was the first African American woman to have her artwork purchased for the collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, painted murals in San Francisco with Diego Rivera, and was known internationally in her day, yet she is still unknown to most Oregonians due to her gender and race.
Art on Alberta is working with her family to present the largest show of Thelma Johnson Streat's work ever mounted. Streat's family still lives in Oregon, and they are loaning their personal collection of almost 50 of her works. It will be on display at four venues on Alberta Street during our Art Hop celebration. Historical articles, photographs, and letters will also be on display during the event.
As a "Think Out Loud" listener, I would love to tell your audience about this amazing woman to bring a new perspective to Oregon's history.
posted 4 years ago
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