15 Oregon artists focus of new exhibition at UO art museum

Black Cultural Center reader board

The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art opens the Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts exhibition, showcasing the recent work of the classes of 2017, 2018 and 2019, as part of the museum’s reopening.

Hallie Ford Fellowships are prestigious awards celebrating the contributions and potential of outstanding Oregon artists working in fine art and craft, made possible by The Ford Family Foundation in Roseburg and awarded annually by an independent jury of regional and national arts professionals.

This exhibition showcases the work of 15 artists named fellows in 2017, 2018 and 2019: Bruce Burris and Julie Green of Corvallis; Niraja Cheryl Lorenz of Eugene; James Lavadour of the Umatilla Reservation; and Corey Arnold, Avantika Bawa, Pat Boas, Demian DinéYazhi ́, Harrell Fletcher, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, Flint Jamison, Elizabeth Malaska, Jess Perlitz, Sharita Towne and Marie Watt of Portland. 

Towne will present her “Community Message Marquee: Black Voices at UO” on the university campus in partnership with Aris Hall and the Lyllye Reynolds-Parker Black Cultural Center.

According to exhibition curator Jenelle Porter, the artists’ works address a range of themes and concerns, among them, “community, presence and presentness, bearing witness, devotion, the natural and urban environment, systemic injustice, daily lived experience, the body, civil rights and the rights of citizens, revolution, power, survival, storytelling and who is allowed to tell stories, philosophical divides, colonialism, the metaphorical dimensions and allowances of abstraction, pedagogy, legacies and, always, beauty.”

From the program’s beginning until 2019, the Oregon visual artists who were selected for Hallie Ford Fellowships in the Visual Arts received unrestricted awards of $25,000 each. As of 2020, the program now awards $35,000 to three Oregon artists annually.

These artists demonstrate a depth of sophisticated practice and potential for significant future accomplishment and work to further the conversation of contemporary art in the 21st century. The fellowships honor the late Hallie Ford, co-founder of The Ford Family Foundation, who left a legacy based on a lifelong interest in and support of the visual arts. Recipients are chosen based on the quality and evolution of their work and their potential.

Danielle Knapp, McCosh Curator at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, said, “The JSMA is thrilled to have this opportunity to present recent works and support new projects by the extraordinary fellows recognized by The Ford Family Foundation in 2017, 2018 and 2019. Their excellence in a variety of media and practice affirms the strength of artistic talent in our state.”

“Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts 2017-19” will be on view at the museum from through Jan. 10, 2021. The exhibition was organized by independent curator Jenelle Porter for the museum in collaboration with The Ford Family Foundation.