Portland philanthropist Arlene Schnitzer presented the first two visual arts prizes established in her name to two students on Oct. 24 at an award ceremony.
Patricia Vazquez Gomez, an Art & Social Practice MFA student, was the first-place winner and will receive a $5,500 cash prize. Jordan Hoagbin, a sophomore studying graphic design, received the $4,000 second-place prize.
Their work is on display through Friday, Nov. 1 at Autzen Gallery in Neuberger Hall, 724 S.W. Harrison St.
(Pictured from left: Jordan Hoagbin, Arlene Schnitzer and Patricia Vazquez Gomez)
The Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Prize was created this year with a gift from the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation to help raise awareness of the quality of art education at PSU.
The jury commended the quality and breadth of Gomez’s submission, which included painting, video and live events. Gomez’s work addresses social issues with sensitivity and courage, focusing on personal, particular stories to examine the larger human condition. One of her pieces was a two-year video project chronicling the life of an immigrant mother and her relationship with three children she left with family in Mexico. Jurors commended Gomez for “thoughtfully engaging with complex topics while providing participants with ways to engage with one another as fully emotional, political and social beings.”
Jordan Hoagbin describes his approach to design as “meticulousness, anxiety and a love for the overwhelming world of visual culture.” Jurors saw this aptitude for visual communication in Hoagbin’s portfolio and were impressed by the breadth of approaches and solutions he employed, writing that “it is clear that he has no one style or go-to visual solution, but instead, he approaches each brief as a unique challenge.”
The School of Art & Design is part of PSU’s College of the Arts. The College of the Arts was created this year and also includes the School of Architecture, School of Music and School of Theatre and Film. Formerly known as the School of Fine and Performing Arts, the College offers some of the fastest-growing programs at PSU, including architecture, film and graphic design. More than 2,800 PSU students major in arts programs, including more than 1,200 in the School of Art & Design. In February, Arlene Schnitzer gave $2.3 million to build a three-story glass tower on the College of the Arts’ Lincoln Hall. Her gift coincided with the public announcement of the creation of the College of the Arts.