PNCA Alumni’s Transformative Work for Five Oaks Museum Featured in ARTnews

February 08, 2021

A recent ARTnews piece features Portland’s Five Oaks Museum and the role its codirectors - PNCA alumni Molly Alloy ’18 and Nathanael Andreini ’05 - have played in restructuring the museum, while also developing a sustainable framework that other museums and institutions can utilize when undergoing systemic change.

As the article notes, prior to Alloy and Andreini serving as codirectors, Five Oaks was stuck in the 20th century, with a hard-to-navigate website, outdated and problematic exhibits, and a lack of nonwhite visitors. This all resulted in the institution facing, in Alloy’s words, “total failure.”

A key factor of the new model that Alloy and Andreini have helped create at Five Oaks is the belief that the museum can better serve its community by “flexing as little institutional power as possible.”

“We did not enter into this with a desire to hold power,” says Alloy. “We see our success criteria as decentering the directorship and the museum’s authoritative voice, and leveling hierarchies to create more access and more voice for people.”

Alloy and Andreini brought in fellow PNCA alum Steph Littlebird Fogel ’15 as their first guest curator to overhaul and critique an existing exhibition at the museum – “This Kalapuya Land” – and now have two additional PNCA alums serving in the role of guest creator: Kanani Miyamoto ’16 and Lehuauakea ’18.

“Molly and Nathanael are radically reforming how the institution grants agency to Black, Indigenous, and people of color to hold space for their communities,” says Lehuauakea.

Click here to read the full article on ARTnews!

Photo: Victoria Sundell/Courtesy Five Oaks Museum.