visual arts program

2012 Hallie Ford Fellow

Ellen Lesperance


(Left to Right) "Oui Girl, Look!," 2017. Gouache, graphite on paper, 42 x 29 ½ in. "Congratulations on Every Section of Fence Ever Pulled or Cut Down, on Every Minute in Police Custody, Court, and on Every Day in Prison. Celebrations for Every Police Vehicle Marked, Challenged, Stopped! Congratulations and Celebrations!," 2015. Wool, Dimensions variable

Ellen Lesperance is a Portland-based artist whose works are typically gouache paintings that pattern the full-body garments of female activists engaged in Direct Action protests.

Ellen Lesperance received a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Washington and a Master of Fine Arts from the Mason Gross School of the Arts at Rutgers University. Lesperance’s work has been shown internationally, including the Tate, St. Ives and De La Warr Pavilion, Bexhill-on-Sea, and Nottingham Contemporary, Nottingham, in the United Kingdom; Bonniers Konsthall, Stockholm, Sweden; New Museum and the Drawing Center, in New York, New York; Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland; Seattle Art Museum and the Frye Art Museum in Seattle, Washington; Portland Art Museum and Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (PICA), in Portland, Oregon. Her work is represented in collections including the Elizabeth A. Sackler Center for Feminist Art, the Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York; the Museum of Art and Design, New York, New York; the Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon; the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and the Frye Art Museum, in Seattle, Washington; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Texas; the Rose Art Museum, Brandeis University, Waltham, Massachusetts; and the Kadist Art Foundation, San Francisco, California. The artist has received grants and awards from the Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation, Robert Rauschenberg Foundation, Art Matters, Pollock Krasner Foundation, and Headlands Center for the Arts’ Chiaro Award.



Artist Monograph PDF