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Heather Lee Birdsong: Stories From the Stone House

January 18, 2021 - March 17, 2021

ink prink on collé paper, depicting a nude woman seated on the ground, leaning on what seems to be a tree branch. The words "the heart turned within from its wandering," and along both the sides of the print, three creatures stand atop each others' shoulders, including two men with black faces, a sheep, a deer, and two woodland creatures. Below the image, six different ornate bells hang.

Printmaker and painter Heather Lee Birdsong often references fairy tales because, as she has written “the stories are sensational, violent and transgressive, but typically told with a matter-of-fact simplicity that forces the reader to fill in the blanks.”

Stories from the Stone House, an online exhibition of work from 2009–2014, includes five print editions and a handmade folio from which the exhibition takes its title. The folio prints are displayed alongside related and previously unpublished stories by the artist. On view January 18–March 17.

Artist’s Statement: “While creating my work, I recurrently think about this quote from William H. Whyte: ‘The great enemy of communication, we find, is the illusion of it. We have talked enough; but we have not listened. And by not listening we have failed to concede the immense complexity of our society — and thus the great gaps between ourselves and those with whom we seek understanding.”

Heather Lee Birdsong (b. Spring Valley, Nevada) has lived in Portland, Oregon since 2005. Her particular interests are books, printmaking, painting, and the effects of technology. Influenced by geometric abstraction and fairy tales, Birdsong’s work describes narratives and social interactions using carefully orchestrated color palettes and precise forms. “I’m always pulling back in my work, trying to evoke complexity in understated ways,” Birdsong says.

Collections housing her artwork include the Visual Chronicle of Portland, Oregon; Ella Strong Denison Library, Scripps College; Albert Solheim Library, Pacific Northwest College of Art; the University of Nevada Las Vegas; and Southern Graphics Council International. Birdsong is recipient of a Project Grant from the Regional Arts and Culture Council (2014) and was an artist-in-residence in Print Arts Northwest’s Emerging Printmakers Program (2012).

In addition to her fine art practice, she works as a graphic designer and arts administrator: she was gallery manager at UPFOR from its inception in 2013 through the closure of its retail space in 2020, and at Chambers@916 from 2010 to 2013. She holds a BFA in Intermedia from the Pacific Northwest College of Art (2011). She currently serves on the board of the Northwest Art Council at the Portland Art Museum.



Upfor Gallery


Women artist(s)
Event Type
Gallery, Visual Art
Pandemic Info
Online Only


Upfor Gallery
Portland, OR United States + Google Map