Summer 2023 Cultural Roundup
Welcome to the Summer Cultural Work Roundup! The Roundup is a seasonal interview of a local BIPOC cultural worker and the things they’ve been taking in and putting out into the world. APANO Communities United Fund (CUF) recognizes that solidarity is an integral part of cultural change, that our society is built on the disproportionate exploitation and oppression of Black and Indigenous people, and that Pacific Islander communities have been marginalized in the work of Asian/Asian American visibility. So, the Roundup prioritizes emerging Black, Indigenous, and Pasifika artists, as well as emerging Asian/Asian American and POC artists who are doing solidarity work through a BIPOC/intersectional lens. This month, I had the pleasure to interview: Demerio Jamison aka DJ – a youth artist who meditates and dreams of painting murals around the city. Read on to learn more about him, his inspirations, and how to purchase his art!
Definition of a Black Woman
What’s your name and pronouns?
My name is Demerio Jamison aka DJ, my pronouns are he/him.
Where do you call home?
I would say Portland because I’ve been here longer but I would also say South Carolina for real.
What does “cultural work” mean to you? How does your art fit within it?
It means a lot to me adding the fact that I’m an African American male. It’s something about culture work/art that motivates me to keep drawing and plus when it comes to drawing it’s easy for me when I’m trying to figure out what to create. I usually like to do fiction drawings like superheroes and recently just got into drawing flowers.
What does solidarity look like to you? How does it show up in your art?
What does solidarity look like to me, well it looks like unity of different cultures that want the same thing. The way I try to put some type of theme into my artwork that I feel everyone would enjoy no matter their cultural background.
What’s your dream, vision, schemings of a liberated future, new world, etc.? How does your art connect to it?
One of my dreams is to be able to be known for my beautiful artwork and to also have murals around the city. The way I connect to my dreams is by perfecting my style and keeping up on my sketches. The way I see my art connecting with the liberated future is by trying to make art pieces that will connect with people in a personal or environmental way.
Sketch of off-white Jordans
What have you been getting involved with or practicing that brings you closer to your solidarity work (like groups, meditation, learning circles, etc.)?
The things that I do to get myself involved in today's society is to most definitely meditate and also learn how other people view life by listening to different types of podcasts. Here are some of my favorites: Uninterrupted- Podcast on YouTube, former basketball player Iman Shumpert. What he does is talk about today’s problems in the world and also about basketball, Peer to Peer- Podcast on YouTube, YouTuber Agent00 and one of his friends does this thing where they look at anything that is making a big impact on social media because, like it or not, that is how most people decide to live their lives on social media. Ways that I meditate is by using the app called Calm. It really helps you get a feel for how to get started in the right direction of meditation. I also just play some lofi music in the background while I just close my eyes and relax. The same goes for anything else like sounds of the ocean and raining forest videos.
What have you been watching that’s been inspiring you and/or informing your vision (from your social media feed, movies, TV shows, any other media)?
To be honest I’ve been really into Marvel superheroes shows/movies. I used to read the comics and it was mind blowing when they started to make the live action versions and plus they used comics as a template….. beautiful. I also like nature documentaries. Some of my favorites are Baby Animals and Deep Oceans. And I like to dip my toe into the power universe, if you know then you know.
What have you been listening to that’s been giving you life (podcast recommendations, a song or album that gets you out of bed, etc.)?
I’ve been listening to a lot of different artists lately but the ones that I’ve been on mainly are SZA especially her recent album SOS, Tyler the Creator and lil Yachty. They are the main ones that get me in the mood to draw. I think the reason why their music gets me in a mood to draw is probably their beat choice and the flow they choose to get on to that beat.
What’s the last thing you read that moved you (articles, books, poetry, whatever)?
One of the best things that I feel is meant for me is a quote from Denzel Washington: “without commitment, you'll never start. Without consistency, you'll never finish”. That really moved me because I used to struggle with that and still do a little but I’m getting better with it day by day.
How do we get connected to your art and/or work?
The place where you find my art is on instagram. My at is @djs.wish (still learning how to get better at the business part of instagram). You can hit me in the dms for any art you want and also email is another way to reach me that will also be in the bio of my instagram.
Be our next featured artist or nominate an artist you know! If you would like to be featured in a future Cultural Work Roundup or would like to nominate someone, let me know by telling me a bit about yourself or the artist you know. The Roundup prioritizes emerging Black, Indigenous, and Pasifika artists, as well as emerging Asian/Asian American and POC artists who are doing solidarity work through a BIPOC/intersectional lens. The interview can be done over coffee, Zoom, or email! You can contact me by:
We’re also sharing local offerings, events, etc. from community members in the Roundup. Reach out to email@example.com to share your offering in an upcoming Roundup.
Tiger Tiger: A Celebration of our AANHPI Communities
When: July 22, 2023, 2PM - 9 PM
Location: Fernhill Park 6010 NE 37TH Ave, Portland, OR
Info: FREE www.tigertigerpdx.com
Tiger Tiger is a community festival uplifting and celebrating Asian American, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander voices in the greater Portland area. Rather than focusing on preserving traditions, Tiger Tiger is about exploring AANHPI identities as they exist now. Food. Music. Movement. Poetry. Interactive Art. The only “authenticity” we seek is to be true to our lived experience as Pacific Islanders, Native Hawaiians, and Asian-Americans. Tiger Tiger is a space for AANHPI created by AANHPI: a place of healing, celebration, and simply being without explaining. A family-friendly event, we’re here to be in community with each other. Young and old, immigrant or fifth-gen, underserved or privileged, Tiger Tiger welcomes all to be radically joyful at this free festival. To donate and/or volunteer for Tiger, Tiger, click on this link for more information.
In a Different Reality She’s Clawing at the Walls, a play by Max Yu, directed by Rebby Yuer Foster
When: Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30pm
Sundays at 5pm (Shows begin promptly. No late seating). Running time: 90 minutes (no intermission)
Location: Shaking the Tree Theatre
823 SE Grant St., Portland, OR 97214
Info: Visit the website for more information
In A Different Reality She’s Clawing At The Walls is a play about human isolation within a vast virtual reality. The psychological repercussions of digital surveillance is explored through an ensemble whose codependency on technology brings them to the tipping point. Witness the sisyphean search for the unplugged mind, driven by the agony of technological isolation.
This programming message brought to you by APANO Communities United Fund, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.