A jury of PSU faculty and local artists and art advocates selected two recipients for the first Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Prize in 2013. The prize comes with a first-place award of $5,500 and a second-place award of $4,000.
This new prize stimulating creativity, rewarding talent and spotlighting the arts at PSU, is thanks to the generosity of Arlene Schnitzer. “Some of my strongest art mentors were art professors teaching at PSU,” says Arlene. “I wanted to establish this prize to raise awareness about the high quality of art education one receives at PSU.”
Prize winners Jordan Hoagbin (left) and Patricia Vazquez Gomez were guests of honor at a reception in Neuberger Hall’s Autzen Gallery.
First-place winner Patricia Vazquez Gomez produced paintings, a two-year video project chronicling the life of a woman who immigrated to the United States and the lives of her three children left with family in Mexico, and a live event at the Portland Art Museum around cultural stereotypes of art and artists. For her, the prize “is a powerful encouragement not just to continue working with energy, passion and conviction, but also to pursue other opportunities for artistic development.” She says her artistic practice “uses forms that many have a hard time recognizing as art” making the prize even more validating.
Second-place winner Jordan Hoagbin is a graphic designer and produced an interactive project encouraging participants to record their thoughts and emotions and a bed full of colorful pillows with graphic facial expressions symbolizing the wide range of human emotions. “It’s about being vulnerable, showing your life’s work and having people judge you,” he says. “It came about from being in a stressful environment as a designer, and feeling the frustration of not living up to your own expectations.”
The prize may alleviate some of those concerns. “To be recognized by established people in the art world in Portland is incredibly rewarding,” he says.