In their first exhibition, the Braided River Exhibition weaves a Story of Displacement and Industrialization on the Lower Willamette River intertwining art and historical information to guide the viewer through time. Life-size historical portraits, painted by a diverse group of local artist-activists tell the history of the many multifaceted communities that have lived along the river. From the indigenous Chinook fisherman, to the Willamette Harbor ship builder of WWII, to the contemporary citizen-scientist, the exhibition presents the history of the Lower Willamette as a working waterfront with a rich history as a place for communities, trade and ecological diversity. The exhibition goes on to confront the viewer with the perilous conditions of the current reality, where hundreds of oil tanks, the majority built between the 1930’s and 70’s, sit in a liquefaction zone of what is now called the Critical Energy Infrastructure (CEI) Hub. Although an industrial zone, the CEI Hub offers very few jobs to the community while posing a tremendous risk to the health and safety of the region. The CEI Hub sits on a fault line and liquefiable land, endangering all of Portland in case of a seismic event. The Braided River Campaign seeks to reimagine the lower Willamette as a green working waterfront, that can provide for its community once again. The exhibition ends with an optimistic vision for the future, and is a call to action for all to restore this grand river and work together towards a more just and safe future.
Mission Statement: The Braided River Campaign seeks to realize a sustainable, diverse, safe green working waterfront on the lower Willamette that acknowledges the climate crisis, systemic racism and the health impacts of sacrificial zoning in the Portland Harbor through community-driven land use processes.
BRAIDED RIVER: Lower Willamette Speaks
Clackamas Community College, Oregon City Campus, Alexander Gallery
19600 Molalla Ave, Oregon City, OR 97045
Exhibition Runs: March 28, 2022-April 31, 2022, Mon – Fri 9am-5pm
Opening Reception: April 7, 2022, 2pm-5pm
Panel Discussion: April 21, 2022, 2pm-4pm