2015 Grant Recipients
Precipice Fund is proud to announce its Round Three (2015–16) grant recipients. In the program’s third year, $75,000 was awarded to 20 collaborative artist projects and spaces, ranging from $2,000 to $5,000 each and directly benefitting 66 artists (with dozens more served through grant recipients’ projects).
Kristan Kennedy, PICA’s Visual Art Curator, and Roya Amirsoleymani, PICA’s Community Engagement Manager, gathered three panelists to review projects. The 2015 Precipice Fund Panelists were: Deana Haggag, Director, The Contemporary (Baltimore, MD); Sara Krajewski, The Robert and Mercedes Eicholz Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art, Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR); Polly Morris, Executive Director, Lynden Sculpture Garden and Nohl Fellowships for Individual Artists (Milwaukee, WI); and Patricia Vasquez Gomez, Artist and Former Precipice Fund Grantee (Portland / Mexico City).
Bartender-in-Residence Program at LIKEWISE $3,000
Adam Moser, Nancy Aileen Prior
A program of LIKEWISE, an artist-run bar and social practice project space in Southeast Portland that invites rotating artists-in-residence (bartenders) to use a dual artistic/service industry role to activate the space, engage the public, build an audience, and foster vibrant conversations about art and society through individual and collaborative projects.
Character Plant (Old YMCA, Portland) $5,000
Anna Weber, Sam Liberto, Joe Brian, Taryn Tomasello, Noel Weber
A new, artist-run space in Astoria, Oregon’s old YMCA building, the 3,000 sq.ft. gymnasium of which will operate as a gallery, performance venue and creative space for artists. The Precipice Fund grant will assist with the costs of renovation; an inaugural exhibition; and a publication, which will be presented and distributed at Portland’s Publication Studios, with the goal of fostering greater connection between artists in both cities.
Cherry & Lucic $3,500
Eleanor Ford, John Knight, Kyle Raquipiso
A curatorial project based out of a garage in Northeast Portland that aims to interrogate the qualifications for exhibiting contemporary art. Cherry & Lucic seeks to return established artworks by mid-career artists—which are typically shown in traditional white box, gallery, or other institutional contexts—to a site more resonant with their physically and economically precarious production (basements, warehouses, temporary structures and environments). In this way, the artworks become more accessible to the project-oriented communities of the Portland art scene.
Church of Film 2016 $4,500
Leslie Napoles, Matthew Lucas
Church of Film is a free, weekly curated film series that presents alternative, experimental, and noncommercial features, shorts, and visual pieces. In the spirit of Portland’s drive to pioneer its own unique local culture, we screen the films we want to see: foreign films, historically relevant art house films, subversive films, rare historical gems, overlooked or forgotten films, banned films, and films that challenge audiences in both form and content. We seek for audiences to be exposed to unexpected, thought-provoking material in a community-driven context of informal entertainment, sharing, and communal gathering and movie-going.
Ellen Lesperance, Conan Magnuson
A website that allows any member of the public to rent a sweater to wear while engaging in a solo performance designed to promote personal agency and courage. The website will serve as a check-out calendar, mailing system, and repository for images provided by the renters that document their performances. The sweater itself—emblazoned with a labrys (battle axe)—has been re-patterned and knit based on one worn by an anonymous, 1980s-era, anti-nuke, British activist. Renters agree to wear the sweater while enacting the following Fluxus-style score: “Solo for Congratulations and Celebrations: An action is performed with courage.”
C.O.P.S. (Conceptual Oregon Performance School) $4,500
Patrick Rock and collaborating artists/facilitators
A free, artist-run, experimental summer school, with a focus on contemporary performance and conceptual art strategies. The mandate of C.O.P.S. is to engage participants in the methodologies, critical theory, and dialogue surrounding the discipline, while investigating its social and cultural role. Participants will experiment with a myriad of contemporary performance strategies through direct interaction and hands-on projects with visiting artists, curators, and visual art professionals; formal and informal lectures; open, seminar-based dialogue; and structured group critique.
Ditch Projects $2,500
Jack Ryan, Lee Asahina, Mike Bray, Isami Ching, Sarah Mikenis, Jessie Vala, Chelsea Couch, Mary Morgan, Donald Morgan, Rick Silva
Ditch Projects, an artist-run space in Springfield, Oregon, is one of the sole venues devoted to experimental contemporary art in the Eugene/Springfield region. The Precipice Fund grant will assist with the costs of Ditch Project’s 2016 exhibition program and related, open-format artist talks in both Springfield and Portland.
Blanca Villalobos, Elizabeth Leon, Andrea Telles
A mobile venue that seeks to develop cultural and artistic exchange with communities throughout metro Portland, with a focus on underserved and underrepresented communities, particularly queer, undocumented, low-income, borderlands, bilingual, bicultural, youth, and folks of color. Exhibition, conversation, and podcast programs will include collaborative projects and facilitated discussions that explore accessibility, inclusion, alternative spaces, and collectivity in the art world. A culminating event in Fall 2016 will take place at S1, an artist-run space for experimental visual art, performance, music, education, and events. The Precipice Fund will support mobile gallery build-out, programming, and partnership-building.
Robert Tyree, Danielle Ross, Justin Flood
FRONT is a large-format print publication and interdisciplinary inquiry into contemporary performance, dance, and the creative process. The Precipice Fund will support the publication’s fifth annual edition in an all-new format, a combination of typography and image expressing live performance theory, process, and reflection, and a photographic intersection of body-based art, improvistion, and paper and printed matter in sculptural form. Publication content will be shaped by five local and visiting artists through a series of self-reflective questions produced in collaboration with other local artists via activities that push the conventions of studio photo shoots. The fifth edition of FRONT will be accompanied by a series of workshops in Portland, plus an interactive website.
The Global Table $4,300
Krysta Williams, Amanda Leigh Evans
A series of performative, programmed dinners created in collaboration with East Portland-based Latina/o and Iraqi immigrant communities, respectively, in partnership with the local contemporary art community. The Global Table seeks to create an opportunity for creative practice and dialogue for groups often lacking access to artistic and cultural programs due to language, transportation, or cost barriers. Events will be co-curated with chefs and artists from the local cultural communities in focus, to include shared meals, ceramic dish-making, rituals, storytelling, and recipe sharing, culminating in a final exhibition and shared meal.
home school $3,800
manuel arturo abreu, Victoria Anne Reis
home school is a free, pop-up art school which hones aesthetic acuity through vernacular pedagogy. We seek to provide welcoming spaces for critical engagement with contemporary art for free, for everyone, necessitated by art education’s cost and inaccessibility. Core curriculum will consist of conference-style classes and online engagement alongside exhibitions, artist talks, lectures, poetry readings, and more throughout Portland and Eugene. Curriculum material and event documentation will be archived and available to anyone online.
My Rock ‘n Roll Fantasy $5,000
Amber Dawn, Willow D’arcy, Pierce Locurto, Chris Anderson, Shane Sanders, Samantha Turret, Justin Greville
My Rock ‘n Roll Fantasy is a documentary hybrid, an experimental “filmed zine” from the artwork and stories left behind by Molly 16, a singer and artist known as the “Ultimate Riot Grrl” who took her own life in 1995. Through animated stories and original music, the film will examine the intersection of Art and Trauma in Molly’s work, her involvement in Portland’s feminist art and music scenes of the ’90s, and the contrast between the Portland of twenty years ago and today. In addition to general screenings, the film will be used as a tool for dialogue and creative exploration with homeless and transitional youth via partnerships with local community organizations.
My Scion Gallery $1,500
Taylor Hurley, Kathryn Knowlton
My Scion Gallery (MSG) is a miniature gallery inspired by the role intimacy can play in the production and experience of art. Based in a car, the gallery will curate small-scale works by both local and national artists. The gallery’s exhibition model piggy-backs off other art events and openings by parking nearby those based locally, and by driving the gallery to other West Coast locations and events. At a time when studio and gallery space is increasingly unaffordable, and when invitational exhibition opportunities are especially competitive, MSG empowers artists and curators to take advantage of a small-scale model and existing event and gallery infrastructure to present and transport their work locally and beyond.
NEW WORLD UNLTD $1,700
Daniel Glendening, Michael Welsh, Sean Joseph Patrick Carney
NEW WORLD UNLTD (NWU) is a print and PDF publication featuring science writing, science fiction, speculation, and related visual arts practices. It serves as a venue, in print, to collect and disseminate work by artists engaged with themes of science fiction, networked technologies, the occult, and the paranormal. The publication is released twice yearly, in spring and fall, to coincide with planetary equinoxes.
People’s Homes $5,000
Emily Fitzgerald, Molly Sherman
“People’s Homes” investigates expanded notions of home by exploring the often overlooked experiences of Portland’s elderly, longtime residents and the local histories they carry, while drawing attention to the city’s rapidly changing urban landscape. Artists will be paired with a diverse segment of some of Portland’s oldest homeowners to create image-based work, culminating in a community exhibition, temporary public installations, and a newspaper.
Portland Museum of Modern Art $5,000
Libby Werbel, Eric Isaacson, Lily Hudson
An art gallery in the basement of a record store in North Portland dedicated to exhibiting high-caliber contemporary and cross-disciplinary art. PMOMA represents an alternative model for bringing quality art from the national landscape to Portland. Our unconventional setting and programming reflect our city’s cultural values of self-organizing and connectivity, with artists serving as collaborators in the vision of a community-built, neighborhood “Modern Art Museum”. For the past three years, we have been creating the art space we want to see in Portland.
Projection of B-Format Signal Set Waves & Transfer Functions into Cathedral Park $2,000
Max Schneider, Ben Glas, Justine Highsmith, Jesse Mejia, Anita Spaeth, Wndfrm, Visible Cloaks
Members of the local sound installation community will transform Cathedral Park beneath Portland’s St. Johns bridge into an immersive environment through custom computer music applications that manipulate spatial understanding and re-orient the listener’s focus and self-perception with regard to the park’s architecture. The intention of this free, one-day installation is to explore the loss of visual/spatial grounding sensations. The presence and resonant properties of the bridge’s large-scale foundation will play a key role in participants’ experiences.
Pushboard Events Weekly $4,000
Alyssa Beers, Felisha Ledesma
A free digital newsletter and events calendar covering lesser-known, experimental art, music, and happenings in the Portland area. Pushboard serves as an artist-run, ad-free alternative to commercial social media event services and has already acquired over 450 users through word of mouth alone. With a Precipice Fund grant, the project will expand to include its own phone app and web extension, as well as supplemental printed material to extend its reach.
VR Spa by Portland Immersive Media Group $4,500
Matthew Henderson, Gary Tyler, Seanna Musgrave, Scott Mayoral, Dave Mosier, Michelle Mckay, Damon Pidhajecky, Michael Green
An experimental, artist-run concept spa devoted to exploring emergent mediums through a rotating menu of virtual and mixed reality experiences. Through group exhibitions, salons, public engagement, and resource sharing, PIMG’s pop-up spa will bring craft VR experiences to diverse audiences in and beyond Portland, while providing opportunities for digital artists to present their work in state-of-the-art, illusory 3-D formats to audiences throughout the city. The Precipice Fund grant will support both exhibition and programming costs as well as equipment purchases to be shared on a lending basis with the broader local arts community.
Women’s Autobiographical Artists’ Books $4,500
Antonia Pinter, Patricia No
A bibliography, catalog, artist book, and public program that aims to validate, support, and explore contemporary women’s autobiographical artists’ books. Inspired by a 1987 exhibition catalog and book of the same name, this project considers the form of the artist book as a means for women artists to produce a physical, extended, or even new and experimental narrative of herself, to ask politically driven questions about a female position in art and publishing, and to level the playing field in a male-heavy art world.
For full project summaries, quotes, and more press information, please download the press release for the round three grant announcement (PDF). Please note: this release was updated and corrected on December 9, 2015 at 2:30 PM.