We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to LiveMuseum of Contemporary Craft (MoCC)
January 24–April 27, 2013
Museum of Contemporary Craft
in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art
724 Northwest Davis Street
Portland, Oregon 97209
Guest-curated by Cassandra Coblentz
Taking its title from a passage in Joan Didion’s 1979 essay “The White Album,” We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, the new exhibition at Museum of Contemporary Craft explores how nine distinguished Oregon-based artists embrace a cross-disciplinary approach to art making wherein the legacies of art, craft, and design merge in work that expands and explores the tactile, conceptual, imaginary, material, and critical potential of cultural production. Los Angeles-based guest curator Cassandra Coblentz employs Didon’s text as an evocative lens through which to view the diverse body of work produced by these artists who have made and continue to make remarkable contributions to the region’s cultural landscape.
Each of the nine artists included in the exhibition is a recipient of the prestigious Hallie Ford Fellowship in the Visual Arts. Created to honor the late Mrs. Hallie Ford, co-founder of The Ford Family Foundation and lifelong supporter of the visual arts, the fellowships support her belief that all people should have the opportunity to explore and realize their talents. Focused on mid-career artists who demonstrate a depth of practice and potential for significant future accomplishment, the exhibition features the work of Daniel Duford, David Eckard, and Heidi Schwegler (2010); Sang-ah Choi, Bruce Conkle, and Stephen Hayes (2011); and Ellen Lesperance, Akihiko Miyoshi, and Michelle Ross (2012).
We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live, organized by and exhibited first at the Museum of Contemporary Craft, travels throughout 2013 and 2014 to venues in the western United States, including Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, University of Oregon (Eugene, Oregon); Pendleton Center for the Arts (Pendleton, Oregon); Sheppard Contemporary, University of Nevada (Reno, Nevada); and Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery, Weber State University (Ogden, Utah).
The exhibition is accompanied by an 80-page full-color publication featuring interviews and photos of the artists in their studios. For more information, including downloadable podcasts, curriculum, and writing, visit MuseumofContemporaryCraft.org
About Museum of Contemporary Craft
Founded in 1937, Museum of Contemporary Craft (MoCC) is a vibrant center for investigation and dialogue that expands the definition and exploration of craft and design. Through dynamic exhibitions, provocative public programming, and activating the Museum’s collection and archives, the Museum advances the conversation on the role of craft and design in contemporary culture while at the same time honoring the history of the studio craft movement.
About the Ford Family Foundation
The Ford Family Foundation was established in 1957 by Kenneth W. and Hallie E. Ford. Its Mission is promoting “successful citizens and vital rural communities” in Oregon and in Siskiyou County, California. The Foundation is located in Roseburg, Oregon, with a scholarship office in Eugene. The Foundation’s seven-prong Visual Arts Program, launched in 2010, provides resources to support artists Fellowships; artists residencies in Oregon and out-of-state; exhibitions and documentation of Oregon visual artists’ work; small capital projects to Oregon visual arts institutions to enhance exhibition, studio and collection storage space; individual grants to fund unanticipated opportunities to pursue or showcase artists’ work; and ongoing critic/curator tours to provide feedback to Oregon artists and participate in community dialogue. For more information, please visit tfff.org.