Artist Sara Siestreem captivates viewers in Concourse E

Sara Siestreem’s (Hanis Coos) stunning multi-media exhibition has now been extended through December of 2024. Located post-security in the Concourse E Extension Display Case, the exhibition features artworks that embody the artist’s multidisciplinary approach to painting, weaving, sculpture, and installation-based practices. 

Exhibition photograph by John Clark.

Siestreem was exposed to art training and education at a young age as she comes from a family of professional artists and educators. Her lifelong mentor is Lillian Pitt (Wasco, Warm Springs, Yakama) and her weaving teachers are Greg Archuleta (Grand Ronde) and Greg A. Robinson (Chinook Nation). Through her art practice, Sara Siestreem strives to generate institutional reform, education, and community engagement surrounding Indigenous fine art.

“In my work I combine the ceremonial traditions of my ancestors with new materials at the intersection of social and ecological justice, education, and Indigenous feminism. In the same way we receive energetic charge from contact with the land, animals or natural events, I hope to affect the viewer.”

Sara Siestreem, minion: (dozens) of ways to say i love you, Slip Cast Ceramic Dance Caps, 2010-2023. Photography by John Clark.

Siestreem works with a variety of materials that range from traditional to quite contemporary. There are three baskets in the exhibition that exemplify this practice as one is hand woven from Spruce Root, one is a slip cast ceramic basket, and the third is a 3D printed scan of a hand-woven basket. Various dance caps in the exhibition are made from both hand-woven and ceramic elements, engaging viewers with the materiality of the work.

Materials are of particular significance to Siestreem’s practice as she notes the locations of where mediums were collected from and the names of those that gifted her things such as Yellow Cedar Bark that she incorporates into an artwork.

Sara Siestreem, from top left: crab trap, Spruce root from Jordan Cove, North Spit of the Coos Bay Estuary, 2017-2019; transtemporal clam basket, 3D printed scan of a hand woven basket (Nylon 12 Powder) 2022, Aretha Franklin (reigns supreme), Ceremonial Dance Cap, 1942-2018; ghost, glazed slip cast ceramic basket, 2022. Photography by John Clark.

Siestreem’s large painting summertime also embodies the blending of materials with acrylic and graphite in addition to Xerox transfer images of objects and the artist’s hands. Despite the large-scale of the work, intimate details and individual moments draw the viewer in more closely.

Sara Siestreem, summertime, Acrylic, graphite, Xerox transfer on panel board, 2021

Sara Siestreem (Hanis Coos) is a multidisciplinary artist from the Umpqua River Valley on the South Coast of Oregon. Siestreem was awarded the University of Oregon’s 2022-23 CFAR Fellowship and the 2022 Forge Project Fellowship, one of six Indigenous individuals representing a broad diversity of cultural practices, participatory research, organizing models, and geographic contexts that honor Indigenous pasts as well as build Native futures. Her work is in many collections including the Gochman Family Foundation (Miami, FL), Forge Project (Mahicannituck (Hudson River) Valley, NY), Missoula Art Museum (Missoula MT), Museum of Fine Art (Boston, MA), and the Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR). Her artwork was recently included in the landmark 2023 book An Indigenous Present, conceived and edited by Jeffrey Gibson (Mississippi Choctaw/Cherokee).

Siestreem graduated Phi Kappa Phi with a BS from Portland State University in 2005. She earned an MFA with distinction from Pratt Art Institute in 2007. She created a self-sustaining weaving program for the Coos, Lower Umpqua, and Siuslaw Indians. She lives and works in Portland, Oregon and is represented by the Elizabeth Leach Gallery.

For more information about this exhibition or artwork inquiries, please contact: or visit