Through fellowships, grants, the Art in the Governor’s Office and Oregon Percent for Art programs, the Arts Commission has long invested in Oregon’s visual arts legacy.
In 2010, The Ford Family Foundation announced a five-year Visual Arts Program in honor of Mrs. Hallie Ford's interests in the arts, a co-founder of the Foundation. The Arts Commission partners with the Foundation to administer two of seven program elements: Arts Acquisition Funds to Oregon visual arts institutions for the purpose of acquiring seminal works of art by Oregon artists; and Opportunity Grants for visual artists.
In 2013, The Foundation and Arts Commission unveiled a new Visual Arts Ecology Project—an effort to document the evolution, shared accomplishments and character of the sector. With this project, thoughtfully completed by artist Tad Savinar and writer Jon Raymond, we began an ongoing dialogue that brought us across the state. Conversations with artists were held in Astoria, Portland, Pendleton, Eugene, Newport, Ashland and Bend. These discussions revealed a good deal of similarity across our arts communities. Along with affordable studio space and more robust patronage, artists expressed a critical need for arts writing and other forms of visibility and critical engagement for their work.
The Ford Family Foundation has worked closely with the Arts Commision to realize the resulting project, an online magazine and growing archive of visual arts across Oregon.
Over thirty organizations have contributed more than 1,100 items of content to date. The intent is for the site to continue to gather, receive and also commission new content, to create an informal (never encyclopedic) place where the work of the field – artists, presenting institutions, funders, and collectors – may be celebrated and furthered.
Please visit the project website to explore! www.oregonvisualarts.org
When Oregon and ecology are included in the same sentence, visions of our state’s natural beauty first come to mind-physical wonders that have served as backdrops and players in the stories of our “place,” that define a particular Oregon character. Among them is a story of Oregon's visual arts.