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What We Tend to Grows

August 15 @ 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm PDT

Yellow and blue text, advertising the event and its participants "What We Tend to Grows" from "Small Axe Gallery," is superimposed over a line drawing of flowers against a red background.

Small Axe Gallery presents What We Tend to Grows, an exhibition of work by five artists: Alejandra Arias Sevilla, Kanani Miyamoto, Laura Medina, Molly Alloy, and Ali Leeds.

What We Tend to Grows is an exploration of care, intention and action. Through varied and personal lenses, each artist explores the notion of tending, of applying time, energy and care in hopes that something will take root and continue to grow and thrive. Building the just and joyful futures we want, where we all feel seen, safe and cared for, might start with small acts that build upon each other and begin to manifest the hoped-for-future in the here-and-now.

Sunday August 15
Artist Talk 5pm-6pm
Exhibition on view 5pm-8pm

18512 SE Abernethy Lane, Jennings Lodge, Oregon 97267

Small Axe Gallery is an artist-run, experimental gallery space located on the far outskirts of Portland, Oregon.

Accessibility: The path to the main gallery space is rough pavement and concrete. There are significant cracks and bumps in the pavement. The grass yard beyond the gallery where the film screen is pretty flat and open. The doorway of the main gallery space is just under 30”, so unfortunately does not meet the ADA accessibility of 32” minimum. There is no bathroom access at this time.

Small Axe Gallery is located on the stolen land of the Clackamas People, the original Chinookan tribes of the area known as Canemah village, above the Willamette Falls, including bands known as Tumwaters, Clowwewallas, William’s Band, John’s Band and others. In 1856, they were forcibly relocated to the Grande Ronde Reservation by the U.S. government, and their descendants reside there today, still speaking their language of Chinuk Wawa, building canoes and plank houses and coming to fish at the Willamette Falls to this day. (Via Quartux, Journal of Critical Indigenous Anthropology)

Alejandra Arias Sevilla
is an interdisciplinary artist and printer based in Portland, Oregon. She investigates semantics, familiar spaces, and personal history to reflect and analyze the language that knits her selfhood. These are rooted in the storytelling of her grandmothers, her childhood in Mexico, and the complexities of the color blue.

Her work has been shown with Nat Turner Project, Black Fish Gallery, and Converge 45. She earned her degree at Pacific Northwest College of Art. She is the 2021 awardee of the Undergrowth Educational Print Fund at Mullowney Printing and the Stelo Letterpress Residency.

Kanani Miyamoto (she, her)
was born and raised on the island of O`ahu and is an individual of mixed heritage and identifies most with her Hawaiian and Japanese roots. She currently lives and works in Portland, Oregon and is a practicing artist, educator and curator.

Miyamoto’s work shares and celebrates her unique mixed background in our contemporary art world in hopes to represent her community and the beauty of intersectional identities. She uses many traditional Japanese materials and techniques to make her work and visual elements are pulled from her Buddhist beliefs and Hawaiian heritage. Miyamoto’s goal is to combine the many philosophies that have formed her identity and the identity of many people from the Hawaiian islands. Most of her personal artwork is print based large scale installations. Additionally Miyamoto loves community based art projects and collaborations. The idea of art by the people for the people really resonates with her.

Molly Alloy
(b.1981, St. Louis, MO) is an artist and social change agent based in Portland, OR.
As Co-director of Five Oaks Museum, on unceded Kalapuyan land, they orient their work
towards the protection of body, land, truth, justice, and community through tactics of
anti-supremacist organizational design and integration of art, archive, and movement building.
Alloy’s solo artwork uses material and color vocabularies to invoke healing and trans/non-binary
ancestral/descendent presence towards collective queer immortality.

Ali Cat. Leeds
is an artist and printmaker living on unceded Cowlitz, Multnomah and Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde land at the confluence of two rivers, also known as Portland, Oregon. She produces her work under the name Entangled Roots Press. Her prints mingle the literal and metaphorical to illuminate and comment upon the world around us. Relief, screen, and letterpress prints span from the carnage of clear-cuts to the beauty of people’s movements. Ali’s prints pull from ancestral herstories and push towards liberatory futures; entangling lessons from gardens, symbols in coffee cups, woven threads from Armenia and Euskal Herria, to the printed page.

Laura Camila Medina
(b. 1995) is an interdisciplinary artist born in Bogotá, Colombia. Her immersive installations and animated collage work have been exhibited at the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture, PLANETA New York, Fuller Rosen Gallery, Wieden + Kennedy, MPU at the Portland Art Museum, and with the Nat Turner Project. She was awarded the New Media Fellowship at Open Signal, Artist in Residence at the Living School of Art, and the IPRC Artists & Writers in Residence Program. She earned her BFA at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and is currently based in Portland, OR.

Laura’s practice is based around memory and identity as a response to personal, cultural, and historical research. Her work utilizes a unique combination of traditional mediums within digitally constructed spaces to create immersive visual analogies of cultural hybridity. Medina engages in a practice of self reflection as a means to create a personal mythology. This mythology brings her closer to building her own world, both real and imaginary, where her identity becomes whole.


Small Axe Gallery


Service Animals allowed
BIPOC artist(s), Women-owned, Women curated, Women artist(s), LGBTQIA+ owned, LGBTQIA+ curated, LGBTQIA+ artist(s)
Event Type
Gallery, Visual Art


Small Axe Gallery
18512 SE Abernethy Lane
Milwaukie, OR 97267 United States
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