• King School Museum of Contemporary Art (KSMoCA)

  • About KSMoCA

    KSMoCA Wall with logo

    KSMoCA, Dr Martin Luther King Jr School Museum of Contemporary Art, is a contemporary art museum inside of Dr. MLK Jr. School in northeast Portland, Oregon. Founded in 2014 by Portland State University professors Lisa Jarrett and Harrell Fletcher, the project creates an unusual pairing between public school students and internationally renowned artists and their work. KSMoCA’s programs are collaboratively developed with the Dr. MLK Jr. School community, PSU students, and volunteers.

    Students learn through experience about museum practice and careers in the arts by participating as curators, preparators, artists, gallerists, writers, and docents. KSMoCA reimagines the way museums, public schools, and universities can affect people, culture, and perspectives by creating radical intersections and sharing resources across organizations.

    For more information, visit www.ksmoca.com and Instagram.


    Exhibitions

    KSMoCA hosts three main exhibitions throughout the course of the school year (Fall, Winter and Spring). Each exhibition features the artwork of a world-renowned contemporary artist, and work made by Dr MLK Jr school students who met the artist and participated in a workshop. This artwork is displayed in the hallway between the cafeteria and the gym.

    KSMoCA also hosts three exhibitions annually in the MLK Jr. Gallery. This space is curated by the Student Curatorial Committee, a group of 4th and 5th grade students who meet with and select artists for this space. This gallery is located in the hallway between the office and the cafeteria.

    To learn more about these exhibitions, please visit the exhibitions page on their website. 

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  • Upcoming Events

    portrait of Mr. Brown holding a camera in classroom

    Artist Talk with Mr. Richard Brown, KSMoCA’s Fall 2023 artist in residence

    THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 2024
    10:00 — 10:30 AM
    SCHOOL LIBRARY

    We are proud to have the incomparable Mr. Richard Brown as our Fall 2023 artist-in-residence. Mr. Brown is a local photographer and community activist that has been a fixture in the Black community for over 50 years. Not only has he documented the lives of generations of Black Portlanders, he has also worked tirelessly to address issues that affect the Black community. 

    Mr. Richard Brown is an activist and photographer whose work highlights what it means to be Black in Portland, Oregon. He takes photographs of the Black community, showcasing who they are and what kinds of lives they have. He especially enjoys interacting with students and asking them what they might want to be when they grow up.


    KSMoCA student with his artwork in classroom

    Exhibition Opening — Mr. Richard Brown: There’s Still Magic in Dreams

    THURSDAY, JANUARY 25, 2024
    10:30 AM  11:00 AM
    CAFETORIUM HALLWAY

    At KSMoCA, Mr. Brown collaborated with PSU students to facilitate a workshop with Ms. Maalaea’s first grade class, inspired by the question, “What do you want to be when you grow up?”. He believes that if children are given space to think deeply about this question, they can take steps to actualize their dreams. 

    Additionally, we invited professionals from the community that represented occupations students desired to learn more about. College students from PSU paired with the first-graders to interview the visitors as Mr. Brown photographed their interactions. During a follow-up workshop, the first grade students augmented poster-sized portraits of themselves depicting their future selves working in their dream professions.

    These works will be exhibited alongside images from Mr. Brown’s “There’s Magic in Dreams” series, created in the late 1980s/early 1990s.


    KSMoCA hosts many projects, activities, and artist talks throughout the school year. Stay up to date on upcoming activities by visiting their events calendar or by following their Instagram page.

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