Things to do in Portland this weekend: (05/18/12 – 05/20/12) “Thesis Exhibition opening reception at the Ten Four gallery & Annual Spring Art Sale at OCAC & Oregon College of Art and Craft Graduation Commencement”


The Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC) Thesis students are putting on a group show of their own in downtown Portland, Oregon(Friday, May 18, 2012 from 6-10 pm on the corner of NW10th Avenue and Hoyt in the Pearl District).

This is a very important event for our students. Each thesis student has spent the past year creating a body of work, and this final exit show is an opportunity to display their work as an entire group, and, to a broader group visitors. You can show your support by visiting the following site (which has more details and examples of the students’ work):

More information here:

Where:  Ten Four (formerly the Attic Gallery) | NW 10th Ave. and Hoyt

When:   May 18th, 6 – 10pm. Runs through May 31st (11am – 7pm, Tuesday – Sunday).

Phone: 503 297-5544



Buy local and support Portland’s emerging artists at the annual Oregon College of Art and Craft Spring Art Sale. Explore the functional, inventive and sculptural ceramic, book arts and fibers pieces, as well as the affordable, limited edition original jewelry created by OCAC students.

Organized by faculty, students and alumni, the sale proceeds fund the participating student artists, visiting artists, and the purchase of studio equipment.

Admission is free and open to the public.

Where: Oregon College of Art and Craft | 8245 SW Barnes Rd.

When:   Saturday and Sunday, May 19th  and May 20th.

Phone: 503 297-5544




Public Reception 2:30pm-4:30pm

The Board of Trustees of Oregon College of Art and Craft is pleased to announce commencement exercises for the graduating class of 2012 at the Jean Vollum Drawing, Painting and Photography Building on the OCAC campus.

Johanna Branson | Commencement Speaker

Johanna Branson was graduated fromWellesleyCollegewith a B.A. in art history; she received a PhD in the same field from Brown University in 1976.

Dr. Branson has published widely on modern and contemporary art. Special projects have included Seeing Through “Paradise”: Artists and the Terezin Concentration Camp, an international exhibition and catalogue; Homeland: Use and Desire, an exhibition of contemporary art from the American southwest; and essays on topics ranging from Kara Walker to Huynh Phuong Dong, a Vietcong artist and soldier.

Dr. Branson spent her professional career at the Massachusetts College of Art, first as Professor of Art History, and then as the Senior Vice President for Academic Affairs.

Dr. Branson is currently a Fellow of the National Association of Schools of Art and Design, and continues to serve as an accreditation team chair. She is also a consultant and speaker on various topics in higher education, art, and design.

Where: Oregon College of Art and Craft, Jean Vollum Drawing, Painting and Photography Building | 8245 SW Barnes Rd.

When: Saturday, May 19th, 12pm (invitation only) 2:30 – 4:30 Public Reception | Free!

Phone: 503 297-5544




54. “Extra/Ordinary: Craft and Contemporary Art” by Maria Elena Buszek

This Wednesday, April 25 @ 6:30pm, Maria Elena Buszek will be giving a guest lecture for the the MFA in Applied Craft and Design Program. The event is co-sponsored with Museum of Contemporary Craft  at will be held their location at 724 NW Davis Street.

Maria Elena Buszek is a scholar, critic, curator, and Associate Professor of Art History at the University of Colorado Denver, where she teaches courses on Modern and contemporary art. Her recent publications include the books, Pin-Up Grrrls: Feminism, Sexuality, Popular Culture and Extra/ordinary: Craft and contemporary art; contributions to the anthologies It’s Time for Action (There’s No Option): About Feminism, Blaze: Discourse on Art, Women, and Feminism and Contemporary Artists; catalogue essays for numerous national and international exhibitions; and articles and criticism in such journals as Art in America; Art Journal; Photography Quarterly; and TDR: The Journal of Performance Studies. She has also been a regular contributor to the popular feminist magazine BUST since 1999.

The MFA in Applied Craft and Design is a joint degree program offered by Oregon College of Art and Craft  and Pacific Northwest College of Art.  

For this week’s library pick, we’ve selected Buszek’s extraordinary publication, Extra/ordinary: Craft and contemporary art! It is a must read for anyone interested in making and issues in the contemporary art scene today.

Here is a brief description of the work from the publisher: “Contemporary artists such as Ghada Amer and Clare Twomey have gained international reputations for work that transforms ordinary craft media and processes into extraordinary conceptual art, from Amer’s monumental stitched paintings to Twomey’s large, ceramics-based installations. Despite the amount of attention that curators and gallery owners have paid to these and many other conceptual artists who incorporate craft into their work, few art critics or scholars have explored the historical or conceptual significance of craft in contemporary art. Extra/Ordinary takes up that task. Reflecting on what craft has come to mean in recent decades, artists, critics, curators, and scholars develop theories of craft in relation to art, chronicle how fine-art institutions understand and exhibit craft media, and offer accounts of activist crafting, or craftivism. Some contributors describe generational and institutional changes under way, while others signal new directions for scholarship, considering craft in relation to queer theory, masculinity, and science. Encompassing quilts, ceramics, letterpress books, wallpaper, and textiles, and moving from well known museums to home workshops and political protests, Extra/Ordinary is an eclectic introduction to the “craft culture” referenced and celebrated by artists promoting new ways of thinking about the role of craft in contemporary art.” (found here)

Contributors include: Elissa Auther, Anthea Black, Betty Bright, Nicole Burisch, Maria Elena Buszek, Jo Dahn, M. Anna Fariello, Betsy Greer, Andrew Jackson, Janis Jefferies, Louise Mazanti, Paula Owen, Karin E. Peterson, Lacey Jane Roberts, Kirsty Robertson, Dennis Stevens, and Margaret Wertheim.

If you haven’t come across this book already, it’s time you do so now! Especially for anyone working the fields of Art and Craft today.

Also, don’t miss her lecture at the Museum of Contemporary Craft this Wednesday!



52. “The Business of Being an Artist” by Daniel Grant.

Correction: The Prudence Roberts lecture was rescheduled for next Fall.

This afternoon at 12:45pm, Monday, April 9, OCAC is going to host a lecture by Prudence Roberts, the juror and curator of Disjecta‘s Portland Biennial 2012, as well as a Art History professor at Portland Community College.  This will be a great opportunity for all aspiring artists not only to learn about the exhibition and new talent from Portland, but also to learn more about what is involved with being a professional artist. Don’t miss this talk!

More information about Prudence Roberts and the Portland Biennial below:

  • Roberts also talked with KBOO about the Portland Biennial 2012 show in general and some of the artists specifically. Check out that interview here:
  • To learn more about the 2012 Biennial of Contemporary art, go to Disjecta’s site: It provides not only a list of artist participating but also where their work is being shown.

For this week’s library pick, we’ve selected a title that all aspiring artists should read: The Business of Being an Artist by Daniel Grant.

Here’s how the publisher describes it: “In the fourth edition of this essential artists’ reference, art world insider Daniel Grant offers a comprehensive guide to making a living through art. This new edition has been updated to include sections on how to market and sell art in a weak economy and how to succeed in the business of marketing online, including tips on creating a successful Web site and blog. Complete with anecdotes from successful artists, the book covers everything from art gallery etiquette to the legal rights of artists, including chapters on: making the transition from school to the working world; searching for funding through grants and fellowships; developing relationships with art dealers; handling criticism and rejection; how to stay safe in the studio. The Business of Being an Artist is an invaluable resource for art students, aspiring artists, and professional artists who want to learn all there is to know about successfully navigating the world of art” (from the back cover).

For a preview of its contents (and it covers everything!), here’s a list of what it talks about chapter by chapter:

Chapter 1:  Exhibiting And Selling Art — So, where can I show my work? — Gaining media attention — Marketing and sales — Communicating in the digital age — Disappearing art critic — Critical essays disappearing, too — Actual sale — Marketing and sales in a weak economy –

Chapter 2:  Operating As A Professional — Getting ready to exhibit — Pricing artwork — To frame or not to frame — Accepting credit cards for sales — Word about taxes — Need for good record keeping — Working small, working large — Protecting oneself from theft — Thefts at art fairs — Artists who work at home — Need to specialize — Too much art — Giving up the day job –

Chapter 3:  Expanding The Area Of Sales And Income — Licensing — Publishing prints — Self-publishing — Print publishers — Dealers and galleries — Certificates of authenticity — Signed by the artist — Bartering and leasing art — Bartering — Leasing — Starting one’s own gallery — Art partnerships — Selling to corporations — Finding corporate buyers — Making contact –

Chapter 4:  Developing Relationships With Art Dealers — Finding representation — Art consultants — Art galleries — Is the artist’s age an issue? — Coming to terms — Foundry fees and commissions — To consign or sell? — Artist-dealer disputes — Spreading oneself too thin — Severing the artist-dealer relationship — Galleries change artists — Art world relationships — Collector-dealer relationship — Artist-gallery relationship — Art gallery etiquette — Bad debts and other recoveries –

Chapter 5:  Web Site — Business of marketing art online — Getting people to your site — Tracking the number of browsers — Linking to an online mall — Some general rules of the Internet — Online sales — Artist’s blogs — Where sales may be most plentiful —

Chapter 6:  When Does Investing In One’s Career Become A Ripoff? — Business managers — Artist’s representatives — Publicists — Artists’ career advisors — Paying to play the art game — Selling art through mailing lists — Value of prizes and awards — Publishing one’s own catalogue — Entry fees for juried shows — Are you deluding yourself? –

Chapter 7:  Artists And The Law — Copyright — Copyright and the Internet — Does “appropriation art” transform copyrighted material? — Making a copyright search — Trademark protection for artists — Copyrighted and trademarked subjects in artists’ work — Artists’ moral rights — Waiving one’s rights — Confusion over the term “site-specific” — Right to privacy — Sidewalk art — Art that looks like other art — Artists lose lawsuits — Valuing an artist’s estate –

Chapter 8:  From School To The Working World — Apprenticing and internships — Skills that artists look for in assistants — Artists’ assistants and the IRS — Finding a job as an art teacher — Art schools and controversial art — Weighing the pros and cons of teaching — Making peace with the academic life — Artist-in-residence programs — Museum artist-in-residence programs –

Chapter 9:  Materials That Artists Use — Safe art practices in the studio — Substitute ingredients in artists’ paints — Primer on paint labels — Artists making their own paints — Owning a printing press — Art materials information on the line — Trying out newer, less expensive materials — Changing relationship of sculptors and foundries — Selecting a print studio or foundry — Print studios — Foundries –

Chapter 10:  Getting Ready To Handle The Pressures — Post-exhibition blues — Changing one’s style — Changing one’s media — Handling criticism — Rejection letters — Handling art world publicity — Love and marriage — Benefits and pitfalls of censorship and controversy — Out of the spotlight — Thomas Hart Benton has a message for artists –

Chapter 11:  Contests And Commissions — Commissions for percent-for-art projects — Commissioning process — General services administration — State and municipal agencies — Thin skins and strong stomachs — Efforts to contain public art controversy — Private public art commissions — Damage and neglect of public art — Who decides artistic merit? — Jurying art-descending from the ideal — When jurors may not seem fair — Jurors with clear biases –

Chapter 12:  Search For Grants And Gifts — Applying for loans — Applying for emergency assistance — Artists’ foundations — Applying for grants and fellowships — Fiscal management — So who will provide the funding? — Foundations — Corporations — Corporate foundations — Government — Local arts agencies — State art agencies — Regional arts agencies — National endowment for the arts — Individuals — Miscellaneous funders — Asking for money — Proposal package — Reporting requirements for grant recipients — Keeping perspective.

This is a must read for anyone interested in the arts! And, in this 2010 edition, it is about as up to date with the complexities of the art world as anyone would need. Check it out!

And don’t miss the lecture with Prudence Roberts!

49. “Abstracting craft : the practiced digital hand” by Malcolm McCulloughby

Metals studio manager, Jennifer Wall will be giving a lecture entitled Craft in the Digital Age in the Centrum Studio at the OCAC campus today (Monday, March 19th) at 12:45 pm.

The talk will discuss her work as well as historic and contemporary precedents for using technology in the craft realm (and vice versa).

More information about Jennifer Wall and her work can be found here:

Inspired by Wall’s lecture topic, the library has selected the following title for this week’s library pick: Abstracting craft : the practiced digital hand by Malcolm McCulloughby.

The publisher provides a rather thorough summary of this work:

“The love of making things need not be confined to the physical world – electronic form giving can also be a rewarding hands-on experience. In this investigation of the possibility of craft in the digital realm, Malcolm McCullough observes that the emergence of computation as a medium, rather than just a set of tools, suggests a growing correspondence between digital work and traditional craft. Chapter by chapter, McCullough builds a case for upholding humane traits and values during the formative stages of new practices in digital media. He covers the nature of hand-eye coordination, the working context of the image culture, aspects of tool usage and medium appreciation, uses and limitations of symbolic methods, issues in human-computer interaction, geometric constructions and abstract methods in design, the necessity of improvisation, and the personal worth of work. For those new to computing, McCullough offers an inside view of what the technology is like, what the important technical issues are, and how creative computing fits within a larger intellectual history.” –from the publisher.

This is a most intriguing book and one that is somewhat difficult to keep on our shelves. While some of what the author discusses occasionally feels a little dated, most of the discussion has held up well over the last 15 years.

It will be interesting to see how Jennifer Wall’s lecture might pick up where this book has left off. Come check out her lecture, and, if you can find a copy, check out this book too!


Allan Wexler Lecture TOMORROW!












Wednesday, March 14 @ 6:30pm

MFA in Applied Craft and Design Studios @ The Bison Building

421 NE 10th Avenue and Glisan Street

“Allan Wexler has worked in the fields of architecture, design and fine art for twenty-five years. He is represented by the Ronald Feldman Gallery in New York Cityand currently teaches at Parsons the New School for Design. Allan’s works explore human activity and the built environment. He works as an investigator using series, permutations and chance rather than searching for definitive solutions. He makes buildings, furniture, vessels and utensils as backdrops and props for everyday, ordinary human activity. The works isolate, elevate and monumentalize our daily rituals: dining, sleep and bathing. And they, in turn, become mechanisms that activate ritual, ceremony and movement, turning these ordinary activities into theater.” (from here)

Image: Allan Wexler

The MFA in Applied Craft and Design is a joint degree program offered by Oregon College of Art and Craft and Pacific Northwest College of Art.


48. “Thinking about Exhibitions” edited by Reesa Greenberg, Bruce W. Ferguson, and Sandy Nairne.

Kristan Kennedy will be giving an interesting talk today at 12:45 in the Centrum studio. She is “an artist and curator who is currently the Visual Art Curator for the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art. Kennedy’s curatorial initiatives focus on the creation of new work by working with emerging artists on large scale installations and helping foster their projects from concept to completion. Kennedy curates video, installation, music and new media projects presented at PICA’s annual Time-Based Art Festival” (from here).  OCAC is honored to have Kennedy come talk with our community on campus, and we encourage everyone to attend. It will definitely be an insightful talk and interesting discussion!

Check out Amy Bernstein’s interview with Kristan Kennedy “about her insights into the city of Portland, its art scene, and the evolution and orchestration of the most exciting art event of the year, TBA” here:

Thinking about curatorial work, especially with respect to contemporary exhibitions, we’ve selected for this week’s library pick: Thinking about Exhibitions edited by Reesa Greenberg, Bruce W. Ferguson, and Sandy Nairne.

As the publisher notes, this exciting work is an “anthology of writings on exhibition practice from artists, critics, curators and art historians plus artist-curators. It addresses the contradictions posed by museum and gallery sited exhibitions, as well as investigating the challenge of staging art presentations, displays or performances, in settings outside of traditional museum or gallery locales” (from here).

Essays of particular relevance on this topic include:

  • “Brokering Identities: art curators and the politics of cultural representation” by Mari Carmen Ramirez
  • “Large Exhibitions: a sketch of a typology” by Jean-Marc Poinsot
  • “The Exhibitionary Complex” by Tony Bennett
  • “Exhibition Rhetorics: material speech and utter sense” by Bruce W. Ferguson
  • “Creating Spaces” by Gerald McMaster
  • “The Great Curatorial Dim-Out” by Lawrence Alloway
  • “From Museum Curator to Exhibition Auteur: inventing a singular position” by Nathalie Heinich and Michael Pollak
  • “Constructing the Spectacle of Culture in Museums” by Ivan Karp and Fred Wilson
  • “The Show You Love to Hate: a psychology of the mega-exhibition” by John Miller
  • “Dissenting Spaces” by Judith Barry
  • “Postmodernism’s Museum without Walls” by Rosalind E. Krauss
  • “The Exhibited Redistributed: a case for reassessing space” by Reesa Greenberg
  • “A Visual Machine: art installation and its modern archetypes” by Germano Celant
  • “The Institutionalization of Dissent” by Sandy Nairne
  • “What’s Important About the History of Modern Art Exhibitions?” by Martha Ward.

This is a huge topic and a crucial one for emerging artists to think about, if they’re considering exhibiting their work! Check it out!

See you at the talk!

47. “DIY in PDX” compiled by Iris Porter and illustrated by Lily Gilbert.

Renowned entrepreneur and designer, Sandy Chilewich, will be giving a talk today at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in the Vollum Drawing and Painting studios from 12:45 – 1:45pm. She is known world-wide for modern reinterpretations of underutilized materials and manufacturing processes. Learn how she designed and brought to market award-winning products made in theUSAand sold globally. Chilewich Sultan LLC, a New York based company, has transformed how people dress their tables at home and in restaurants around the globe, while their floor and wall coverings provide a clean contemporary alternative in the design community. Some of her designs are also on display in the OCAC retail craft gallery, so be sure to stop by and check them out on your way to the lecture!

To learn more about Sandy Chilewich, we encourage you to visit her website:

Thinking about entrepreneurship, we were reminded of the work of a former OCAC student in Book Arts, Iris Porter.  She published a book on the DIY (Do-It-Yourself) culture inPortlandthat compiles the stories of 28 local artists, writers, musicians and other entrepreneurs. It is a fascinating culmination projects and essays, including Eleanor Whitney’s text on “The Creative Process and Radical Potential of DIY,” Chloe Eudaly’s “How to quit your job, get a life, and word harder than you ever imagined,” and “Promoting small press books with little or no money” by  Kevin Sampsell, among other interviews and small business spotlights.

Here’s how one reviewer described the book: “DIY in PDX is mostly an ongoing discussion and how-to manual. You’ll hear from Molly Sprenglemeyer, volunteer coordinator for North Portland’s SCRAP (School & Community Reuse Action Project) and Portland DIY veteran (she remembers a time when clothes at the Goodwill bins were 49 cents a pound!). You’ll get book recommendations from the effervescent Chloe Eudaly, founder of Reading Frenzy (she remembers P-town’s ’80s book cafes Howling Frog and Umbra Penumbra). You’ll read encouragement and advice from countless organizers of craft bazaars, zine symposia and CD compilations (one is even included in the pages of the book). And by book’s end, you’ll be inspired to bust out the four-track recorder and warble your way to self-sufficient stardom.”—from Elizabeth Dye’s review in the Willamette Week (here).

Perhaps in today’s economic climate, the DIY movement and the stories of successful entrepreneurs might be all the more significant.  Decide for yourself. Come to today’s talk with Sandy Chilewich and check out DIY in PDX!