Visual Arts

Supporting Oregon artists and visual arts ecology

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overview

The Ford Family Foundation's Visual Arts Program honors the late Hallie Ford's interests in the visual arts. The goal: Help enhance the quality of artistic endeavor and body of work by Oregon's most promising visual artists. The program also works to improve Oregon's visual arts ecology by making strategic investments in Oregon institutions. The program was launched in 2010, and in 2014 it was extended through 2019. This $5 million, five-year grant program provides a range of resources to assist these artists and visual arts institutions. 

Applications for this special Foundation program are through Requests for Proposals (RFPs) or similar announcements, and calls for submissions. 

Questions? Contact the Visual Arts Program » 

Background

The Foundation spent two years consulting with more than 40 visual arts leaders from across Oregon, as well as researching regional and national programs that invest in the visual arts. Through this work, we determined the program goals and how best to help visual artists who have the greatest potential. 

Elements

The Visual Arts Program  provides funding in seven areas: 

Hallie Ford Fellowships in the Visual Arts: Up to five annual fellowships, each in the amount of $25,000, to Oregon visual artists who have demonstrated sophisticated practice and signficant potential. The application (available through the CaFE application website) is available in late January or early February every year.      

Artists-in-Residence: Two-year grant awards go to at least three "Golden Spot" residency programs in Oregon that provide opportunities for artists to explore or produce new work. Golden Spots are defined by a distinctive environment that artists repeatedly find stimulating. Fifty percent of the funding supports the residency program and the remaining funding provides stipends to the selected artists to help offset life and work expenses. Requests for proposals are announced midyear for the next round of funding. Artist residency programs are also available at national institutions with which the Foundation has a working relationship, currently Djerassi and the Ucross Foundation. Please visit those websites for details. 

Exhibition & Documentation: Funding is available for the curation, preparation and traveling of exhibitions of works by Oregon visual artists, and the production of catalogues and other materials. Funding for this component is offered once per year. This application opens in the fourth quarter each year.    

Capital Projects: Awards are available for improvements to and expansion of studios, and exhibition and appropriate storage space and equipment at key Oregon visual arts institutions. Funding under this component is offered once per year. This application opens in the fourth quarter each year.  

Curator/Critic Tour: Funding is offered for visitations to Oregon by national curators and critics to consult with visual artists and to participate in community forums on visual arts. Three tours per year are hosted by area institutions in partnership with the Foundation. 

Career Opportunity Funding: Resources are available to artists facing unforeseen prospects for accelerated creation, production or exhibition of their work, in association with the Oregon Arts Commission's Career Opportunity Grants process. Awards range from $1,500 to $7,500. For more information visit the Oregon Arts Commission

Art Acquisition Funding: Resources are provided to Oregon visual art institutions and public collections for the purpose of acquiring seminal works by Oregon visual artists to preserve public access to them, in association with the Oregon Arts Commission. For more information visit the Oregon Arts Commission

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