Art History: JSMA Exhibitions (new!)

Current Exhibition: Labor of Love

Featured Artists: Tania Candiani, Tannaz Farsi, Jay Lynn Gomez, Midori Hirose, Charlene Liu, Alberto Lule, Narsiso Martinez, and Patrick Martinez

The artists featured in Labor of Love produce work that aims to expose and highlight labor practices that have been historically and systematically concealed from the public sphere. Working across a wide variety of media and using a range of conceptual approaches, the eight artists exhibited here seek to explore that which is often hidden just under the surface or kept at arm’s length: the physical, emotional, and intellectual labor that is vital to the smooth and ongoing function of innumerable aspects of our everyday lives. 

Hidden, unseen, or invisible labor is work that goes unnoticed, unacknowledged, and thus, unregulated, and that is too often unpaid or poorly paid. Invisible labor is often performed by people who belong to marginalized groups, including migrants and refugees, women, nonbinary and gender nonconforming individuals, people of color, and people of lower socioeconomic status. Those who perform invisible labor are further marginalized by the sheer fact that their work isn’t seen, properly compensated, or acknowledged. In its many forms, hidden labor has ripple effects: much of what we consume every day—the food we eat, the clothes we wear, the content we watch and read—is made available to us through the time, energy, and often backbreaking labor of unidentified individuals we will never meet. 

The artists in Labor of Love strive to tell stories that have been purposefully hidden. In doing so, they reveal problematic aspects of our public narratives and confront issues of systemic racism, immigration, class inequality, and gender discrimination. Collectively, they believe that to ameliorate the burdens of invisible labor, that labor must be made visible: only then can its inequities be addressed. Their actions endeavor to reveal what has been kept out of sight, and to celebrate, acknowledge, and empower the individuals and groups whose stories they have chosen to tell.

Labor of Love is curated by Alexandra Terry, Curator of Contemporary Art, New Mexico Museum of Art, Santa Fe. Support for this exhibition provided by The Ford Family Foundation, the Richard & Helen Phillips Charitable Fund and the Exhibition Circle.

Reading List

Exhibit Information

Important dates:

Storytime led by Portland-based artist, Latoya Lovely at the following time and dates: 11:00 am on February 10 (02/10), March 9 (03/09), and April 13 (04/13). Lovely will read stories celebrating workers and exploring culture and community to children and their guardians. This program is geared towards pre-K through early elementary students.

In addition to our children and family programming, JSMA at PSU is also planning a Panel Discussion; Reception on Thursday, January 18 from 4–7 PM.

More information regarding the exhibition and programming can be found on our website
Please contact Anna Kienberger ( for more information and further inquiries.

Children's Reading List

1. Where Are You From? By Yamile Saied Méndez
2. Juan Bobo Goes to Work: A Puerto Rican Folk Tale By Marisa Montes
3. A Day's Work By Eve Bunting
4. Migrant By Maxine Trottier
5. They’re Heroes Too: A Celebration of Community by Pat Brisson.
6. Clothesline Clues to Jobs People Do By Kathryn Heling.
7. ¡Si, Se Puede! / Yes, We Can!: Janitor Strike in L.A. By Diana Cohn.
8. Amelia’s Road By Linda Jacobs Altman.