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Melanie Stevens "medias res(t)"

  • Stumptown Coffee Roasters 128 Southwest 3rd Avenue Portland, OR, 97204 United States (map)

Melanie Stevens | medias res(t)

Stumptown (Downtown)

Curated by May Barruel

March 29th, 2018, through May 16th, 2018

Opening reception: First Thursday, April 5, 2018, from 6—8 PM

Stumptown Downtown hours: Monday-Friday: 6AM—7PM/Saturday & Sunday: 7 AM—7 PM


Melanie Stevens is the third recipient of its new visual arts program, the Stumptown Artist Fellowship. For her solo exhibition, in medias res(t), on view at the Downtown café March 29th through May 16th, Stevens presents a scrolling patchwork extending over seventy feet, as well as enlarged prints, all created with appropriated images from news outlets and popular mass media.

Anything you want to know, you ask the characters. -August Wilson

in medias res(t) is both an examination and commentary on the ways in which we choose to consume media, from passive observation to a conscious re-translation, depending on one’s positioning. A narrative is, perhaps, one of the most powerful tools employed in the transmission of history and ideas. The stories we tell and listen to provide unique and brutal insight into the continued power struggles underlying American culture. They reflect and reinforce destructive belief systems and hierarchies, as well as the ever-growing unrest and rage bubbling over into the daily life of those whose voices have hidden in plain sight for far too long.


Melanie Stevens is the co-founder, editor, and an instructor of Miss Anthology, an organization that supports and publishes racially and economically diverse young comic artists who identify as female or LGBTQIA+. She is the co-curator of Nat Turner Project, a migratory, radical gallery space that grants artists of color the freedom to create or express their own language within and without the parameters of racial commodification or designation. She is also the creator of the upcoming graphic novel series, WaterShed, a love, and death story about America through the lens of race. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Political Science from Yale University and her Master’s of Fine Arts degree in Visual Studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art.


May Barruel is the fantastic brain behind Nationale, a multifaceted art space dedicated to the promotion of culture through exhibitions, performances, and a selection of carefully chosen goods. She is also a long-time Human of Stumptown. Originally from France, she joined our family in 2005 as a barista, became the manager of our Annex and then the art curator of our downtown Cafe in 2007. Her newest project is curating the Stumptown Artist Fellowship, which celebrates its second recipient this month: Jennifer Brommer. They sat down over a cup of coffee to talk about the newest exhibition. Please check out the artist interview here.