(Diversity by Hampton Rodriguez)
Leading a group of ten Oregon visual artists awarded 2022 Individual Artists Fellowships, Tracy Schlapp will receive the Oregon Arts Commission’s honorary 2022 Joan Shipley Award. The other artists awarded 2022 Fellowships are Mika Aono, Heather Goodwind, May Maylisa Cat, Laura Camila Medina, Susan Murrell, Hampton Rodriguez, Alejandra Salinas, Pace Taylor and Amiran White. All 2022 Fellows receive $5,000 awards.
The Joan Shipley Award is named for Oregon arts leader Joan Shipley, who passed away in 2011. Shipley was a collector, philanthropist and supporter of many arts and humanities organizations. In 2005, she and her husband John received an Oregon Governor’s Arts Award. Many in the arts community also counted her as a mentor and friend.
The Arts Commission’s Fellowship program is open to more than 20,000 artists who call Oregon home. Applications to the program are reviewed by a panel of Oregon arts professionals who consider artists of outstanding talent, demonstrated ability and commitment to the creation of new work(s). The Arts Commission reviews and acts on the panel’s recommendations for fellowship recipients. A total of 103 applications were received for 2022 Fellowships. Visual and performing artists are honored in alternating years.
The review panel for 2022 Fellowships was David Harrelson, chair, Arts Commissioner; Yaelle Amir, independent curator, Portland; Élan Chardin, visual artist and co-owner of Howard Hanson Gallery, Ashland; Noelle McClure, board president of Astoria Visual Arts, Astoria; V. Maldonado, interdisciplinary artist, Portland; and Lori Sams, Director, Betty Feves Memorial Gallery, Blue Mountain Community College, Pendleton.
Mika Aono is a multidisciplinary artist and one of the founding members of the non-profit Eugene Printmakers. Her recent work explores humanness in absurdity and futility through laborious processes, giving meaning to the meaningless. Her fascination for nature has driven her projects and installations to utilize found objects and various printmaking techniques. She cherishes serendipitous moments and believes art has the power to solve the mystery and connect all sorts of life on earth. She wishes she were a gentle superhero. Born in Sendai, Japan, Mika received a bachelor’s in primary and special education from Miyagi University of Education in Japan, a bachelor’s in Art from University of Oregon and an MFA in Printmaking from San Francisco Art Institute. Currently, she works as an instructor and a printmaking/ letterpress studio technician in the Department of Art in the College of Design at the University of Oregon. Her work has been shown at galleries including Northwest Museum of Art, University of Richmond Museum, Asheville Bookworks and Manhattan Graphics Center and in international exhibitions in India, Spain, Brazil, Switzerland and Canada. Some of her works are in museum and public collections.
Heather Goodwind is a visual artist. She has received awards, grants and residencies from the Oregon Arts Commission, the Pollock-Krasner Foundation, The Ford Family Foundation, the U.S. Department of State Art In Embassies Program, the Vermont Studio Center, Playa at Summer Lake and the Pacific Northwest College of Art Leland Iron Works residency program. She received a bachelor of arts in Sculpture from Portland State University and studied with traditional and contemporary ink artists during a year-long stay in China. Her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally, including in Buenos Aires, Argentina, where she was based for 10 years. Heather was born in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area; she now lives in Portland.
May Maylisa Cat is a multidisciplinary artist whose work spans new media, performance art, sculpture and installation. She grew up in Chicago and graduated from Cooper Union School of Art in New York. Her projects have received support from the Franklin Furnace Fund, Oregon Arts Commission, Open Signal (New Media Fellowship) and RACC. May has attended residencies at Chautauqua Visual Arts, Santa Fe Art Institute, Fountainhead Art, Pilchuck Glass School, Wassaic Project, Caldera Arts, and many others. She has spoken as a guest lecturer for Carnegie Mellon University School of Fine Art in Pittsburgh; Yale School of Art in New Haven, Connecticut; and Cooper Union in New York; and as a teaching artist for Caldera Arts in Sisters. Recent exhibitions include COALESCE, Stelo Arts, Portland, 2021-22; Karmic II, Jack Straw Cultural Center, Seattle, 2021; GLEAN, Oregon Center for Contemporary Art, Portland, 2020; and Karmic I, a multi-screen immersive installation at Open Signal, Portland, 2019.
Laura Camila Medina is an interdisciplinary artist born in Bogotá, Colombia. Her practice strives to create an archive that addresses the complexities of cultural and national identity, notions of “the American Dream,” and personal/collective memory through an embodied perspective. She has exhibited at the Center for Contemporary Art & Culture, PLANETA NY, Fuller Rosen Gallery, Wieden + Kennedy, the Portland Art Museum, Nationale and with the Nat Turner Project. She was awarded the New Media Fellowship at Open Signal, Artist in Residence at the Living School of Art, IPRC Artists & Writers in Residence Program, ACRE Residency, the Centrum Emerging Artist Residency, the Support Beam and Make Learn Build grants from RACC and the Re:Imagine Sustainability Grant from the NW Film Center & Portland Art Museum. Alongside Angela Saenz, she is part of Maracuya con Leche, a collaborative project that encourages artists to participate in creative exchange with their community. She earned her bachelor’s in Painting Arts at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and is currently based in Portland.
Susan Murrell’s work investigates an expanding concept of landscape as our perspective continues to shift amid the climate crisis. Her paintings, installations and works on paper have been created as a meditation on passageways, life transitions and the constancy of matter. She has been awarded residencies at many international programs such as Yaddo, Ragdale, Arteles in Finland and Westfjords in Iceland. In 2021 her project if water had its way was exhibited at Carnation Contemporary in Portland and the Klemm Gallery at Siena Heights University in Adrian, Michigan. Other recent solo exhibitions include Absent Presence at Carnation Contemporary and we are all cosmic dust at the Autzen Gallery at Portland State University. Recent group exhibitions include Making a Better Painting, at the Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery at Lewis and Clark College; Edge and Mirror: Landscape in the Anthropocene, at the Kay Hardy and Gregory Kaslo Gallery, Center for the Visual Arts at Boise State University; and Outland About, a two-person exhibition at the Schneider Museum of Art at Southern Oregon. University. She often gives public gallery talks, artist lectures, interviews and participates in panel discussions. Susan has received multiple Golden Spot and Mid-Career Artist Awards through the Ford Family Foundation. In 2017 she was awarded a sabbatical and was also recipient of the Oregon Arts Commission’s Career Opportunity Grant. She is an Associate Professor of Art at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande, where she explores this spectacular corner of the state with her dog, Amiga.
Hampton Rodriguez grew up in the Dominican Republic and was profoundly influenced by the intellectual pursuits of the contemporary abstract art movement there. After exhibiting his work in Spain and Belgium, he moved to Oregon in March of 2002 and says, since then he has become a different artist. The focus of Hampton’s work shifted to capture the idiosyncratic culture of Portland’s diverse neighborhoods, the cadence of people’s lives, the scenes of cultural clashes — urban vs. rural — as well as the development of images that tap into shared concepts and feelings. In his recent work, he tries to capture the fleeting human expressions of anger and hope, desire and sadness. His work is egalitarian, surrealistic and filled with people’s mystiques. He strongly feels that an artist belongs to the place where they live, a universal evolution of feelings and juxtaposed realities that are reflected in their work and personal life.
Alejandra Salinas has worked as an artist-duo with Aeron Bergman for over 20 years. She is currently on the faculty at the Pacific Northwest College of Art and has been a visiting professor in several institutions including the International Academy of Art Palestine in Ramallah, the Art Academy in Umeå, Sweden and the Trondheim Academy of Art, Norway. Alejandra was Senior Artist-in-Residence at the University of Washington from 2013 to 2017. Aeron and Alejandra have shown work internationally at institutions such as the 4th Athens Biennale; 1st Bergen Assembly Triennial; 2007 Turku Biennial; 1st Struer Tracks Sound Art Biennial; Steirischer Herbst 2013, Graz; Fundação de Serralves, Porto; Eastside Projects, Birmingham, UK; Kunsthalle Exnergasse, Vienna; ICC Tokyo; IASPIS, Stockholm; Lincoln Center and DAC in New York City; e-flux and Berlin Film Festival in Berlin; Center for Contemporary Art Glasgow; Edinburgh Film Festival and Dundee Contemporary Art in Scotland; MOCA Novi Sad; Taipei Fine Art Museum; Van Abbemuseum, Eindhoven; Centre George Pompidou and Palais de Tokyo in Paris; IMO and Nikolaj Kunsthal in Copenhagen; Henie Onstad Art Center, Kunstnernes Hus and 0047 in Oslo, MUDAM Luxembourg; Ruler and HIAP in Helsinki; The Luminary, St Louis; the Ski Club, Milwaukee; The Poor Farm, Wisconsin, among many others. Their sound art has been broadcast on the BBC and Resonance FM in London; WDR Cologne; R2 Madrid; SV2 Stockholm; Radio France; CBC Canada; WFMU New York; and Taipei Philharmonic Radio. The pair won an award of distinction in digital music at the Prix Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria.
Tracy Schlapp’s work is collaborative. As Cumbersome Multiples founder, she has worked with artists and writers to create limited-edition multiples, artwork and performances. She produces small-batch paper ephemera, including the Fresh Ink letterpress subscription. Her work is immediate, political and (as is the nature of letterpress) laborious. Since 2018, Tracy has developed Folsom50, art and musical experiences for people confined in prison through the nonprofit Bridgeworks Oregon. She has produced concerts statewide and distributed thousands of handmade playbills to imprisoned audience members; run printing and writing workshops; and performed a musical lecture about incarceration. COVID closed prison to volunteers, so she focused her work on a writing exchange with a group of lifers at Oregon State Penitentiary (OSP). She curated a film series and wrote a companion workbook for people at OSP to engage them in discussion and writing. In 2022, she will expand this program to four additional prisons. Her studio practice has expanded with Redemption Prints, type-based portraits that have transformed into drawings and led to sculptural work.
Pace Taylor is an artist emotionally preoccupied with intimacy and whom we choose to share it with. Pace lives and works in Portland. Their work is often quiet, very queer and persistently vulnerable. They received their bachelor of fine arts in Digital Arts from the University of Oregon (2015), and their work has been exhibited at Nationale, La Loma Projects, Oregon Contemporary (formerly Disjecta) and Third Room Project, among others. Pace is represented by Nationale. At its core, their work is about belonging, both as concept and feeling. As a queer artist, and as a trans artist, they have found comfort in re-constructing scenes from found photographs and populating a space outside of time with imagined community. But as an autistic artist, daily concerns of acceptance and communication bleed through. As their own unreliable narrator in social interactions, Pace has spent much of their life picking apart how it is that people find community as they often feel on the outside of it. In these drawings they are distilling years of being a witness, and sometimes a voyeur, to other’s relationships, breaking them down into mutable planes of soft pastel and the warmth and weight of graphite. Still, as a romantic, this preoccupation with intimacy includes dreaming up all the ways it can exist, and through these images they create a visual space that others can project into and be embraced; an offer to be held by another’s language.
Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Amiran White began her photojournalism career in North America freelancing for The Associated Press in Portland. From there she spent 10-years working as a staff photographer on various daily newspapers in Oregon, Pennsylvania and New Mexico before becoming an independent photographer. Amiran has won a variety of awards from the Society of Professional Journalists, Associated Press, World Press, National Press Photographers’ Association, Editor & Publisher and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize. She’s also earned the Community Awareness Award from the 60th Photographer of the Year International and the 2003 Golden Light Award for her documentary work. Her work has appeared in The New York Times, Oregon Humanities Magazine, The Oregonian, Le Monde, Visual Anthropology Magazine, PBS Nova and with Zuma Press.
The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of Business Oregon (formerly Oregon Economic and Community Development Department) in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission’s expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.
The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature and with federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts as well as funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.