Moccasins emblazoned with beer logos. Ceramic pieces arranged in the shape of a mountain. A fishing net filled with lost clothing.

These are just a few of the dozens of pieces on display at a new Portland Art Museum exhibit, The Map Is Not the Territory. The exhibition includes work from eight artists from around the Pacific Northwest, including British Columbia and Alaska.

While geography may connect these artists, each brings their own interpretation. Several pieces detail the beauty and history of the region, while others tackle the effects of colonization and industrialization. (Flip through some of the works in the slide show above.)

Jenny Irene Miller is a photographer and native Alaskan featured in the show. Her work highlights the intersection of the indigenous and LGBTQ communities. Paintings by Portland artist Ryan Pierce, meanwhile, evoke a sense of adventure and eagerness to explore.  

The exhibition lifts its name from an expression by Polish-American philosopher Alfred Korzybski, whose work focused on the difference between abstraction and reality—the difference between the map and the territory itself.

“This is not a show you just walk through and pass a work in three seconds,” says Grace Kook-Anderson, PAM’s curator of Northwest art. She hopes visitors spend time at the exhibit, drawing connections between different artists and objects. “I hope that it’s a space for people to sit in and enjoy and contemplate our very real issues,” she says.

The Map Is Not the Territory

10 a.m.–5 p.m. Tue, Wed, Sat, and Sun, 10 a.m.–8 p.m. Thu and Fri, Portland Art Museum, $20

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