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Spotlight on Gus Van Sant, filmmaker and artist


Gus Van Sant is a legendary filmmaker who makes art in all its forms come alive. From his incredible paintings and photography to his groundbreaking films, recent experimental work with Gucci – and music videos with everyone from Alan Ginsberg, Hanson, Deeelite, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, and David Bowie – he is a beloved member of our Portland and global art community like no other.



Gus Van Sant, admired internationally as a filmmaker, painter, photographer, and musician, received his BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in Providence in 1975. Since that time his studio painting practice has moved in and out of the foreground of a multi-disciplinary career, becoming a priority again in recent years. Van Sant’s work in different mediums is united by a single overarching interest in portraying people on the fringes of society.

Van Sant’s work has been the subject of solo exhibitions at the Musée de l’Elysée in Lausanne, Switzerland, Le Case d’Arte in Milan, Italy, and the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon in Eugene, among others. He has participated in numerous group exhibitions since the 1980s, presenting drawings, paintings, photographs, video works, and writing. Among Van Sant’s many internationally acclaimed feature films are Milk (2008); Elephant (2003); Good Will Hunting (1997); My Own Private Idaho (1991); and Drugstore Cowboy (1989).


Presented by Paige Powell, Walt Curtis, Thomas Lauderdale, and Alessandro Michele



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.