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Oregon Contemporary presents In My Own Little Corner, a solo exhibition by Willie Little. In My Own Little Corner is the third and final exhibition in our large-scale program Site, a series of exhibitions by Oregon artists replacing the Portland 2021 Biennial. The exhibition is a multimedia, interactive installation consisting of a series of vignettes from the artist’s hometown near Little Washington, NC, exposing the often untold stories from a rural Black child’s perspective while revealing the universality of the inner turmoil many gay children experience.

August 5- October 2022

The title, In My Own Little Corner, is taken from Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella: “In my own little corner, in my own little chair, I would be whatever I want to be….” The installation invites the viewer to experience the world of the imagination of a young, Black, gay boy from rural North Carolina. The installation includes theater walls, found objects and photographs and a sound environment lifted from the pages of Little’s recent memoir/ art book, In the Sticks. These vignettes are tableaus that transport the viewer to a time and place from his past – through sight, sound, and found objects. They reveal some of the artist’s dreams, conflicts, and uncertainty he experienced as an imaginative and sensitive boy from Pactolus, North Carolina in the 60s and 70s during a time of radical change, when Little desperately dreamed to one day get out of the sticks. 

Willie Little is a Black multimedia artist and author. His visual narratives document a fading part of rural southern life while also tackling topics of racism and Black Lives Matter, Social Justice, and the childhood memories of growing up on a tobacco farm in Eastern North Carolina. Little incorporates sculpture, painting, sound installations, re-constructed architecture, recycled memorabilia, and real-life stories. The common thread in all the work he creates is his examination of the manifestations of physical and societal decay in American culture. Little’s solo exhibits include the Smithsonian Institution, the Center for Documentary Studies at Duke University, the American Jazz Museum and Noel Gallery. He currently resides in the San Francisco Bay area and Portland, Oregon.


IN MY OWN LITTLE CORNER is generously supported by Oregon Community Foundation’s Creative Heights initiative. Oregon Contemporary is also supported by The Ford Family, Foundation, The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, the Robert & Mercedes Eichholz Foundation, VIA Art Fund and Wagner Foundation, the Maybelle Clark Macdonald Fund, the James F. & Marion L. Miller Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the Regional Arts & Culture Council. Other businesses and individuals provide additional support.

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