Visual Arts

Michelle Ross, “The Woolgatherers, 2015. Oil, graphite and chalk on birch panel (detail)

TFFF Visual Arts Program Logo

Enriching Oregon’s visual arts ecology

The Foundation’s Visual Arts Program honors Hallie Ford’s lifelong interest in visual arts and commitment to supporting artists in Oregon. The program focuses on enhancing the quality of artistic endeavor and body of work by supporting our state’s most promising visual artists, collaborating to improve the visual arts ecology, and investing in key Oregon institutions that support artistic excellence.

Hallie Ford Fellowships in the Visual Arts

The Foundation supports Oregon visual artists who have demonstrated sophisticated practice and significant potential with annual fellowships. The Hallie Ford Fellowships are the flagship of the Visual Arts Program. We recognize that the work of the Fellows furthers the conversation of contemporary art in the 21st century. Up to three $35,000 awards are made each year.

The 2023 Hallie Ford Fellows

2023 Hallie Ford Fellows: Rick Silva, Lisa Jarrett and sidony o'neal / Photos: Sam Gehrke

Julie Green Visual Arts

Julie Green, "My New Blue Friends," 2015, exhibition at Upfor Gallery, Portland, Ore., November 5 — December 19, 2015. Photo: Mario Gallucci for Upfor Gallery

Exhibition, documentation and capital grants

Our most significant direct grantmaking to institutions is through two opportunities that support the exhibition and documentation of visual art, as well as capital improvements to spaces that exhibit, create and preserve works.

Artist funding: opportunities and experiences

The Visual Arts Program provides a variety of ways to enhance the work of visual artists in Oregon. In addition to Hallie Ford Fellowships, we provide funding for artist-in-residence programs in and beyond Oregon, artist capacity building opportunities, and career advancement through a partnership with the Oregon Arts Commission Career Opportunity grant program.
Morales Portillo

Artist Diego Morales-Portillo was recently supported by a residency at the Studios at Mass MoCA. Pictured: False Memory Syndrome, 2018

Critical Conversations Visual Arts Program

Sarah Farahat, Self-Portrait, Yuba River, Yuba Goldfields, California, Nisenan Land, 2015. Archival pigment print, 44×66 in. Photo: Kristine Eudey

Critical Conversations

The collaborative Critical Conversations initiative provides a space for artists and cultural producers that is rooted in inquiry and exchange. Led by partner University of Oregon, the three-part endeavor includes studio visits for Oregon artists by prominent visiting curators and arts writers, a series of convenings and commissioned writing that examines currents in society and the field.

Critical Conversations partners have included Reed College, Portland State University, Pacific Northwest College of Art at Willamette University and historically Oregon College of Art and Craft.

The Visual Arts Program remains committed to supporting historically underrepresented artists.

Of the 49 artists awarded Hallie Ford Fellowships since 2010:


were women, people of color and/or LGBTQ+


were non-Portland based


were not represented by an Oregon dealer


had no gallery representation at all

Case studies

Artist Lisa Jarrett

Oregon artist stirs conversation

For visual artist Lisa Jarrett, art is about much more than making objects. It is about exploring identity, forging connections, creating community and providing opportunities.
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rubén’s childhood bedroom, 2020 Video Still Photo: rubén garcía marrufo

Imagine beyond limits

The word border is infused with a wealth of meaning. For some, it is a physical line, for others a political separation. It is all that to Portland artist rubén garcía marrufo — and a lot more.
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Weaving Jovencio de la Paz

Weaving community

For Eugene artist Jovencio de la Paz, weaving is more than a medium. It’s an ancient craft with an important place in civilization’s history. It’s a place to share experiences and have important conversations.
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Let’s talk

Interested in learning more about the Visual Arts Program? Contact us.

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