Visual Arts

Supporting Oregon artists and visual arts ecology

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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 » 


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. 


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: We support four "Golden Spot" residency programs in Oregon that provide opportunities for artists to explore or produce new work. The Foundation also has partnered with national programs to support residences for Oregon visual artists.

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.    

Small 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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This site explores the depth and breadth of Oregon’s visual arts ecology. The goal is to create an accessible, permanent, virtual collection documenting Oregon’s visual arts landscape. Project Partners: The Oregon Arts Commission and The Ford Family Foundation.