UO professor receives art grant for photography project

A view of the installation that photography professor Terri Warpinski exhibited at the Center for Photography in Woodstock (CPW), New York, where a small selection of her work was shown in 2012

University of Oregon Art Professor Terri Warpinski received a grant of $1,500 from the Oregon Arts Commission plus $6,074 from The Ford Family Foundation to fund a field excursion to the Middle East to conclude her photography project “Surface Tension.”

Warpinski’s project examines border security and draws parallels between the Berlin Wall, the Israeli-Palestinian border and the U.S.-Mexican border. The grants will also support the exhibition of “Surface Tension” at the Lincoln Center in Fort Collins, Colo., in August 2014.

“I’m looking at (the project) as a reflection of human values as they are evidenced in place and how (the area) is susceptible to cultural influences, impacted by politics and religion,” said Warpinski.

After receiving 41 requests for grants totaling more than $58,000, the Oregon Arts Commission awarded grants to 15 recipients, including Warpinski and two UO alumni.

The OAC provides funding to arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. This year, more than $52,000 in competitive Career Opportunity grants was given to artists for development of new work for major exhibitions and to undertake career opportunities.

“It was really, extremely nice to find out that I had (been awarded the grant),” said Warpinski. “I’ve been wanting to make one more trip to the Middle East and this is going to allow me to do that.”

In 2000-2001, Warpinski was awarded a Fulbright Senior Scholar Fellowship to visit Israel. That trip inspired her new exhibition.

“It gave me access to a world I really didn’t understand at all,” she said. “I think (it) opened up my sensitivities in a way that made me view what was going on here along the U.S.–Mexican border differently.”

Warpinski also has work featured in “Connection to Place: Photography and Graphics,” a show at the Art Center Gallery at Clatsop Community College in Astoria, from Nov. 14 to Jan. 16. Artist presentations are from 3 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. on Nov. 14.

UO alumni Miki’ala Souza and Cara Tomlinson also received grants from the most recent round of funding by the Oregon Arts Commission.

Souza, who graduated in 2004 with a bachelor’s degree in painting, was awarded $1,500 to support a trip to Kokiri Putahi, the seventh gathering of international indigenous visual artists in Kaikohe, New Zealand, in January 2014. The event is organized by the Ngapuhi Tribe and Toi Maori Aotearoa (Maori Arts of New Zealand).

Tomlinson graduated in 1993 from UO with a master’s degree in painting. She was awarded $1,200 to support travel to and shipping of work for exhibition of her paintings and video at the Work Place Gallery, an established artist collective gallery in May 2014 in Belgium. She now works as an art professor and studio head of painting at Lewis and Clark College in Portland.

The Oregon Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature, federal funds from the National Endowments for the Arts, and funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.

The remaining deadlines in this cycle are Dec. 2, and next April 7. Guidelines can be found online.

- by Emerson Malone, UO School of Architecture and Allied Arts