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MFA Lecture Series


PSU Campus (at the corner of SW Broadway & Hall on the PSU campus)
Shattuck Hall Annex
1914 SW Park Ave, Room 198

PSU's Art Dept. offers free public Art lectures almost every Monday night of the school year. Local, National and International, interdisciplinary artists visit Portland to speak about their work.

The PMMNLS is supported in part by: PICA, Portland Center for Public Humanities, Wealth Underground Farm, Bear Deluxe Magazine, Northwest Film Center. If you or your organization is interested in becoming supporters of the PMMNLS please contact the art department.


April 2, Nina Katchadourian

Nina Katchadourian's work, in a wide variety of media including photgraphy, sculpture, video and sound, has been exhibited domestically and internationally at places such as PSI/MoMA, the Serpentine Gallery, New Langton Arts, Artists Space, SculptureCenter, and Palais de Tokyo. In January 2006 the Turku Art Museum in Finland featured a solo show of works she made in that country, and in June 2006 the Tang Museum in Saratoga Springs exhibited a 10-year survey of her work and published an accompanying monograph, All Forms of Attraction. The Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego presented a 2008 solo show of Katchadourian's video installation works, and in February 2010, as artist in residence at the Dunedin Public Art Gallery, New Zealand, shee had another solo show entitled Seat Assignment. She is currently at work on a permanent public piece, commissioned by the GSA, for a border crossing station between the US and Canada.

April 9, Design 99: Neighborhood Project

The firm Design 99 seeks to dispel the notion that contemporary design is expensive and inaccessible. From tricking out multi-family immigrant homes to creating posh downtown lofts, it approaches each project with the same contemporary art, architecture and design available to a wider public through a variety of unique design services. 

April 16, LaToya Ruby Frazier (live streaming video)

Born and raised in Pennsylvania, LaToya Ruby Frazier earned a BFA in applied media arts at Edinboro University of Pennsylvania in 2004 , and an MFA in art photography from Syracuse University in 2007. She recently completed the Whitney Museum of American Art Independent Study Program. Her photgraphs and videos examine and re-define the impact of America's industrial revolution and have been exhibite in museums and galleries throughout the United States and abroad. Frazier's work has been featured in The New York Times, The New Yorker, The Huffington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She currently teaches phography and is Associate Curator for the Mason Gross Galleries Department for Visual Arts at Rutgers University.

April 23, Borderland Collective (live streaming video)

Conceived in 2007 by Ryan Sprott and Jason Reed of West Texas and Ulrich Eigner of Austria, Borderland Collective is a social art project that facilitates the participatory exploration and documentation of geographic and sociocultural borders. Fueled by collaborations between artists, teachers, youth, and families, the Collective uses art as a means to challenge notions of who holds knowledge and what stories are told, providing an inclusive representation of the contemporary American experience. The Collective is currently housed at Texas State University.

April 30, Slanguage

Founded in 2002 by Karla Diaz and Mario Ybarra, Jr., Slanguage is a diverse group of artists who base their practice on a three-pronged approach to art-making; education, community-building, and interactive exhibitions. Creating artworks that range from multimedia installations to performances, public events, and workshops, the collective has enriched, inspired, and provoked viewers' imaginations through local, national, and international exhibitions. Recent projects include Engagement Party, a three-month residency with the Museum of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles (2009) and Sweeney Tate (2007) for the Tate Modern, London.

May 7, Urban Edibles

Based in Portland, the non-profit organization Urban Edibles provides resoures for those interrested in wild edible, medicinal and otherwise notable plants. Urban Edibles aims to make more available the natural food sources throughout the city that go undiscovered each year. Nut trees, berry patches and unsprayed filds of dandelion roots are all welcome. The project invites everyone to share the sources they already know of, search for new ones with friends, and participate in Urban Edibles' official scouting days.

May 14, Mary Jane Jacob

Professor and Director of Exhibitions at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Mary Jane jacob has been exploring art outside the museum since 1990, organizing groundbreaking programs that have tested the boundaries of public space and the relationship of contemporary art to audience. Jacob is a curator and author noted for her work on the national and international art scene. Two anthologies for which she is co-editor are Learning Mind: Experience Into Art (University of California Press, 2009) and The Studio Reader (University of Chicago Press, 2010). Her current major program, Living Modern Chicago, is a collaboration of the Art Institute of Chicago and the Mies van der Rohe Society/Illinois Institute of Technology.

May 21, Coco Fusco  (Please note special time for this lecture: 6:00 PM instead of 7:30)

Coco Fusco is a New York-based interdisciplinary artist and writer and Director of Intermedia Initiatives at Parsons New School dor Design. She has performed, lectured, exhibited and curated at the world's most prestigious venues since 1988. Fusco's work combines electronic media and performance in a variety of formats, from staged mult-media performances incorporating large scale projections and closed circuit television to live performances streamed to the Internet that invite audiences to chart the course of action through chat. Fusco received her B.A. in Semiotics from Brown University (1982), her M.A. in Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University (1985) and her Ph.D. in Art and Visual Culture from Middlesex University (2007).


FALL 2011


 October 3, Fallen Fruit

Using fruit as a lens, Fallen Fruit investigates urban space, ideas of neighborhood and new forms of located citizenship and community. From protests to proposals for new urban green spaces, they aim to reconfigure the relation between those who have resources and those who do not, to examine the nature of & in the city, and to investigate new, shared forms of land use and property. Fallen Fruit is an art collaboration that began with creating maps of public fruit: the fruit trees growing on or over public property in Los Angeles.

Over time their interests have expanded from mapping public fruit to include Public Fruit Jams in which we invite the citizens to bring homegrown or public fruit and join in communal jam-making; Nocturnal Fruit Forages, nighttime neighborhood fruit tours; Community Fruit Tree Plantings on the margins of private property and in community gardens; Public Fruit Park proposals in Hollywood, Los Feliz and downtown LA; and Neighborhood Infusions, taking the fruit found on one street and infusing it in alcohol to capture the spirit of the place.

October 10, Kelsey Snook

Kelsey Snook designs narrative environments - experiences to tell stories and empower people to have a place in the stories that are told around them. She is part of the collective trio, who together recently produced a Giant Sing Along collective choral installation for the Minnesota State Fair. Past projects include civic engagement work for the city of Montreal, interactive installations for London's Southbank Centre, research projects for the British Department of Trade & Industry, community building for the British Design Council, a traveling talking rocking chair for a public library, along with a few don't-try-this-at-home fireworks experiments.

Kelsey holds a BA in Industrial Design from Rhode Island School of Design, and a masters degree in Creative Practice for Narrative Environments from Central Saint Martins College of Art and Design, London. After a scholarship awarded at Fabrica, the creative research centre of Benetton, she worked in Venice, Barcelona and London on projects in product, furniture, lighting, exhibition, public installations and event design. She now lives and works in Portland, OR.

With long time collaborator Melissa Mongiat, Kelsey developed the research project Good Participation which has been presented at the biennial design conference 'Include' at the Royal College of Art in London, at the Instituto di Diseno Europeo in Barcelona and at the Banff New Media Institute, Canada.

October 17, Lucy Lippard (live streaming video)

Lucy Lippard (born 1937 in New York City) is an internationally known writer, activist and curator from the United States. Lippard was among the first writers to recognize the de-materialization at work in conceptual art and was an early champion of feminist art. She is the author of 21 books on contemporary art and has received numerous awards and accolades from literary critics and art associations.

October 24, Center for Tactical Magic

The Center for Tactical Magic engages in extensive research, development, and deployment of the pragmatic system known as Tactical Magic. A fusion force summoned from the ways of the artist, the magician, the ninja, and the private investigator, Tactical Magic is an amalgam of disparate arts invoked for the purpose of actively addressing Power on individual, communal, and transnational fronts. At the CTM we are committed to achieving the Great Work of Tactical Magic through community-based projects, daily interdiction, and the activation of latent energies toward positive social transformation.

October 31, Peter McCaughey (live streaming video)

Peter McCaughey is an artist and lecturer in Sculpture and Environmental Art at Glasgow School of Art.


November 7, Pie Ranch

In 2002, three founding partners—Nancy Vail, Jered Lawson, and Karen Heisler purchased a triangular 14-acre property on California’s San Mateo coast to establish Pie Ranch. The shape of the land, and their shared vision to create a model center of sustainable farming and food system education, inspired the farm’s distinctly fitting name.

Since 2005, Pie Ranch has operated as a working farm, hosting youth from regional high schools to participate in farm-based programs and activities. Pie Ranch also works with educators and community collaborators in diverse urban, suburban and rural settings to help students apply what they’ve learned at Pie Ranch in their daily lives. In addition, Pie Ranch mentors aspiring farmers as resident apprentices who spend a full year immersed in all aspects of farm operations and marketing.

November 14, Duke Riley (live streaming video)

Riley earned a BFA in painting form the Rhode Island School of Design, and a MFA in Sculpture from the Pratt Institute. He lives in Brooklyn, New York. He is noted for a body of work incorporating the seafarer's craft with nautical history, as well as the host of a legendary series of illegal clambakes on the Brooklyn waterfront for the New York artistic community. Riley told the Village Voice that he has "always been interested in the space where water meets land in the urban landscape."



January 23, Luis Camnitzer

Luis Camnitzer (born 1937) is a German-born Uruguayan artist and academic who resides in the United States. He is a conceptual artist who creates work in a variety of media—including installation, printmaking, drawing, and photography—that breaks down limitations and questions that define the center versus the periphery. Even though select works of Camnitzer deal with explicitly political content, he states that all his art is deeply political, "in the sense of wanting to change society." His approach to Conceptualism often utilizes language to underscore issues of power and commodification, exploring the relationship between images, objects, and texts.

January 30, Caroline Woolard (live streaming video)

Caroline Woolard is a co-founder of Trade School, a non-traditional learning environment where students barter with teachers for instruction. Classes focus on traditions, techniques, and tactics, and teachers have asked for everything from fresh produce to research help from students. To find out more, go to Caroline is also a co-founder of OurGoods, a barter network for creative people.    


February 6, Josette Melchor (live streaming video)

Josette Melchor is the founder and executive director of the Gray Area Foundation for the the Arts. Since 2005, she has been working towards opening three art spaces in the Tenderloin neighborhood of San Francisco. She speaks about the importance of arts education, choosing a location, and what her organization teaches artists about digital marketing.


February 13, CLUI

The Center for Land Use Interpretation is a research and education organization interested in understanding the nature and extent of human interaction with the earth’s surface, and in finding new meanings in the intentional and incidental forms that we individually and collectively create. We believe that the manmade landscape is a cultural inscription, that can be read to better understand who we are, and what we are doing.  

The organization was founded in 1994, and since that time it has produced dozens of exhibits on land use themes and regions, for public institutions all over the United States, as well as overseas. The Center publishes books, conducts public tours, and offers information and research resources through its library, archive, and web site.

The CLUI exists to stimulate discussion, thought, and general interest in the contemporary landscape. Neither an environmental group nor an industry affiliated organization, the work of the Center integrates the many approaches to land use - the many perspectives of the landscape - into a single vision that illustrates the common ground in “land use” debates. At the very least, the Center attempts to emphasize the multiplicity of points of view regarding the utilization of terrestrial and geographic resources.


February 20, Axel Void (live streaming video)

Alejandro Hugo Dorda Mevs, also known as Axel Void, was born in Miami in 1986 to a Spanish father and Haitian mother. The hectic, unstable and ever-changing atmosphere in which Alex was raised, influenced his way of understanding things along with his way of representing them.

At 3 years old Alex went to live in Cadiz with his mother, where he had to get used to living in several places for short periods of time. When Alex was 10 years old, his Haitian grandfather came home with a saxophone for him that he bought for nine dollars. This is where his passion for music began. A few years later this passion was accompanied by his career as a painter. Along with the saxophone Alex plays the sideflute, clarinet and piano. He has also played and recorded with various jazz, funk-rock, electronic, rap and experimental music groups and bands.

Alex began to teach himself to paint at very young age. In 1999 he was introduced to the graffiti world, which influenced his forms of expression as well as the conception of his work taking a parallel path with the commercial world of contemporary art. At 16 Alex’s mother returned to Miami, and Alex decided to stay in Cadiz and maintained a kind of nomadic and solitary lifestyle. Afterwards, he lived between Granada, and Sevilla, where he still lives, maintaining the rhythm of frequent travel, painting, and music.


February 27, Jim Goldberg

Jim Goldberg is a Professor of Art at the California College of Arts and Crafts and a member of Magnum Photos. He has been exhibiting for over 30 years and his innovative use of image and text make him a landmark photographer of our times. He began to explore experimental storytelling and the potentials of combining image and text with “Rich and Poor”, (1977-85), where he juxtaposed the residents of welfare hotel rooms with the upper class and their elegantly furnished home interiors to investigate the nature of American myths about class, power, and happiness. In "Raised by Wolves” (1985-95), he worked closely with and documented runaway teenagers in San Francisco and Los Angeles to create a book and exhibition that combined original photographs, text, home movie stills, snapshots, drawings, diary entries as well as single and multi-channel video, sculpture, found objects, light boxes and other 3-D elements. He is currently working on two books on migration in Europe to be published in 2009 and 2010 by Steidl. He is represented by Pace/MacGill Gallery in New York and the Stephen Wirtz Gallery in San Francisco.

His work is in numerous private and public collections including NYMOMA, SFMOMA, Whitney, Getty, LACMA, Corcoran, MFA Boston, Hallmark Collection, The High Museum, Library of Congress, MFA Houston, National Museum of American Art, and the Art Institute of Chicago.

Jim Goldberg’s fashion, editorial and advertising work has appeared in numerous publications including W, Details, Flaunt, The New York Times Magazine, Esquire, Rebel, GQ,The New Yorker, and Dazed and Confused. He lives and works in San Francisco.