The Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University is going all out to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the famed Summer of Love. Three new exhibits will showcase San Francisco’s unique psychedelic posters and fashions from the 1960s, as well as the enduring legacy of Pop and Op art.
The first exhibit, Behind the Beyond: Psychedelic Posters and Fashion in San Francisco, 1966-71, will feature more than 100 posters and photographs that show the rise and development of the “psychedelic” style. Organized by artist and collector Gary Westford, Behind the Beyond will also showcase 20 outfits that demonstrate the influence of psychedelia on both street fashion and the runway. Visitors can also take a trip (ha!) down memory lane with a light show by the late Bill Ham, who was known for his swirling visuals that accompanied many ‘60s rock concerts.
As if that’s not immersive enough, you can also step into the cheekily named Turned On!: American Blacklight Posters exhibit, a blacklight gallery which displays 10 recognizable posters. Blacklights weren’t exactly new in the ‘60s, but they did become quite popular with those seeking an “alternative reality.” Enjoy the glowing stare of Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix, The Doors and more, while wondering if you’ve gone back in time, or just stepped into your 18-year-old’s freshman dorm room. If Turned On! brings back too many memories of your first acid trip, slide over to The 1960s: Pop and Op Art Prints to get a brief education from the work of well-known artists such as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein and Robert Rauschenberg.
Turned On! and Pop and Op Art Prints open May 13 in the Study Gallery and the Print Study Gallery, respectively. Behind the Beyond opens June 3 in the Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery and the Maribeth Collins Lobby. To learn more about the events, visit the Hallie Ford Museum of Art website. Below, check out a video sample of one of Bill Ham’s light paintings to get in the Summer of Love mood. Also, don’t miss Paste’s recent Health feature, “Can Psychedelic Drugs Improve Mental Health?”