In conjunction with the Resource Room Residency of the PSU Art & Social Practice MFA program, PICA is pleased to host the closing panel discussion for the 2013 Open Engagement Conference. Moderated by Jen Delos Reyes with Tom Finkelpearl, Michael Rakowitz, Claire Doherty, Heather Donahue, Zachary Gough, and Sharita Towne

Open Engagement is an international conference that sets out to explore various perspectives on art and social practice and expand the dialogue around socially engaged art making. Directed and founded by Jen Delos Reyes and planned in conjunction with Portland State University’s Art and Social Practice students, this year’s conference features keynote presenters Claire DohertyTom Finkelpearl, and Michael Rakowitz. OE 2013 will bring together these voices to reflect on publics, contexts, and institutions in relation to the current state of art, education, and institutional practice. Through conversations, presentations, workshops, interviews, open reflections, and related projects created for or presented at the conference, we will be investigating, questioning, celebrating, and challenging the current state of art and social practice. This conference is a site where an intergenerational exchange can occur between emerging artists and established artists. This is also a site where transdisciplinary conversation is possible.

Tom Finkelpearl has written extensively on public art, served as the director of New York City’s Percent for Art, is currently the director of the Queens Museum and is one of the founders of the Contemporary Art and Social Practice Pilot MFA program at Queens College. Claire Doherty has been a key voice in writing around context and place in contemporary art. Doherty leads Situations, a research and commissioning program which further investigates these topics. Michael Rakowitz is an artist whose work has broached complex political and social issues through personal and intimate means. His works have grappled with issues of homelessness, political conflict, popular culture, and personal narrative.

Open Engagement is a free conference that will take place May 17-19, 2013, in Portland, Oregon. Contributors are not asked to pay a registration fee and the public will not be charged to attend. Selected contributors to the event will be supported in the following ways: participants from out of town may be housed in Portland homes and select meals during the conference will be provided emphasizing community dining. For more information, please visit openengagement.info.