On June 14, North Portland’s Disjecta was officially renamed the Oregon Center for Contemporary Art (or Oregon Contemporary, for short). The gallery, which opened in 2000 and became a nonprofit in 2005, has housed the Portland Biennial show for the last decade and has become one of the city’s major artistic beacons. In a news release, executive and artistic director Blake Shell says the org underwent the change to “speak to the caliber of art” it presents and to raise its ambition by projecting into the future.
The name change comes complete with a new logo: A large “O” raised to the power of an “x”. Jelly Helm of Studio Jelly, a local creative agency with clients like Nike and Starbucks, and Oregon Contemporary board member Adam McIsaac collaborated on the redesign.
The “O,” naturally, represents Oregon, but also the open, circular shape of the 12,000 square foot gallery space on N Interstate Avenue that the organization has inhabited since 2008. The “x” alludes to avant-garde composer John Cage’s advice allowing for growth: “[Leave] plenty of room for ‘x’ quantities.”
Oregon Contemporary will stage an open house to celebrate the name change on June 26, from 5 to 8 p.m.. Works by six Oregon artists will be on display in the new Time Being exhibition, which runs through August 8. The center’s new café will be open during this event, and visitors will have an opportunity to visit sculptures by late artist Louise Bourgeois in the space’s courtyard.