Earlier this month, Portland’s long-lived gallery of comic art and illustration, Sequential Art Gallery, announced that they would be closing for the remainder of the year. Citing concerns over the COVID-19 epidemic and the inconsistent response to it from political leadership across the board, the gallery posted to their Facebook page their plan to close the current location of the gallery and reassess their future.
From the Sequential Art page:
We have been wanting to evolve the gallery for quite a while, and this is as good a time as any. For the next year or so, we’ll be doing some foundational work towards the next version of Sequential Art. But for now, we’ll be spending our time on social media promoting the artists we were going to show this year, as well as artists we’ve worked with in the past.
Additionally, we want to acknowledge that Black artists are consistently underrepresented in fine arts spaces, both in Portland and beyond. Part of our work moving forward will be holding ourselves accountable, having conversations, and finding the ways we can best support BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) artists in our community.
Here at PDXComicArts, gallery owners Kaebel Hashitani and Merrick Monroe have been good friends for years, and I mourn the loss of this great venue for Portland’s local arts. Sequential Art has been the unofficial official art gallery of the Portland comics scene for nearly fifteen years, and Kaebel and Merrick were instrumental in maintaining the celebrated Stumptown Comics Fest during its sophomore years. Knowing them both and the passion they share for comics as an art form, I don’t expect them to be able to sit still for long, and I wish them the best in their future endeavors.