2016 Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Prize Recipients Announced
Author: Art + Design
Posted: July 6, 2016

Renee Sills, Collaborative Learning for Physical Prowess: How to Dance Like a Boss, 2016. A social experiment and video party investigating dance as a means for improving communication and increasing empathy amongst strangers.


Portland State University’s School of Art and Design proudly presents an exhibition of work by the recipients of the 2016 Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Prizes.

RENEE SILLS, MFA Candidate, Art + Social Practice, is the first-place winner and will receive a $5,500 cash prize.

ROZ CREWS, MFA Candidate, Art + Social Practice, will receive the $4,000 second-place prize.

KYLE LEE, MFA 2016, Contemporary Art Practice Studio, will receive the $3,000 third-place prize.

Fifty-one students competed for this year’s prizes, which were open to current and graduating students. Winners were selected by a jury that included PSU faculty members Lis Charman, Horia Boboia and Lisa Jarrett; and community representatives Blake Shell (The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Director and Curator of The Art Gym and Belluschi Pavilion at Marylhurst University); Kelsey Snook, (Creative Director at Second Story); designer Duane King; and Theo Downes LeGuin (UPFOR Gallery).

The Schnitzer Prizes were created in 2013 with a gift from the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation to help raise awareness of the quality of art education at PSU and to honor Arlene Schnitzer, a devoted and inspired leader of art and culture in Portland. Arlene has been a dynamic advocate at the center of the Portland arts community since the 1960s. She opened one of Portland’s first art galleries and has directly supported and influenced the lives of many regional artists. PSU’s School of Art + Design is grateful to the Harold & Arlene CARE Foundation for establishing this distinctive award that recognizes talented art students and advances the quality, profile, and reputation of the School, the College of the Arts and the University.

Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of these exceptional emerging artists and the generosity of the Harold & Arlene CARE Foundation.


2016 Arlene Schnitzer Visual Art Prize Exhibition

Featuring the work of Renee Sills, Roz Crews, and Kyle Lee

October 3 - 21, 2016

Reception and Awards Ceremony: Thursday, October 13, 4-6pm, awards presentation at 5pm

Autzen Gallery

Portland State University
Neuberger Hall, 2nd floor
724 SW Harrison St
Portland OR 97201

Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday, 10am-5pm

FREE and open to the public



Renee Sills, Common Language, 2016. A participatory score utilizing movement and sculpture to deepen the connection between the building blocks of our bodies and the natural and urban spaces they inhabit. Project in collaboration with Kimberly Sutherland.

RENEE SILLS is an interdisciplinary artist, performer, writer, educator. Currently a dancer-in-residence for New Expressive Works at Studio 2 and artist-in-residence at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, she researches kinesthetic and creative learning approaches to science. Her work utilizes live performance, responsive technologies, video, soundscape and social engagement to explore questions of purpose, power, politics, evolution and the contemporary crises of the human body in a technologically dependent world.





Roz Crews, Community for Rent, presented at Lewis & Clark College in collaboration with Spencer Byrne-Seres, 2016

ROZ CREWS creates site-specific projects that require participation from an audience and involve social engagement as a method of research. Her current work interrogates notions of community and encourages critical reflection on how we as a society define the word in support of, or to deny, assumptions. She experiments with inventing communities as alternative ways of living and relating while asking us to consider our daily interactions within our communities. She is currently supported as the Artist in Residence at Portland State's University Housing and Residence Life Department.




Kyle Lee, Noah, 2016

KYLE LEE is a painter of everyday encounters. His current work is inspired by the grocery store settings where he is an employee and a spectator. Capturing wry and oddly familiar moments, his paintings ask us to consider what it means to be human in these constructed, controlled, and overwhelmingly complex spaces. He received his MFA in Contemporary Art Practice Studio from Portland State University in June 2016.



The jury would like to acknowledge the excellent work and achievements of these additional prize applicants:

Nimi Einstein, Undergraduate in Graphic Design
Olivia Serrill, Undergraduate in Graphic Design
Hyunju Kim, MFA, Contemporary Art Practice Studio, 2016


Driven by a belief in the power of art to shape society, Portland State University's School of Art + Design and its dynamic faculty provide a place where emerging artists, designers and art historians can question, create, reflect and learn. With 1,400 undergraduate majors, a vibrant and growing graduate program, a faculty of internationally recognized artists, designers and scholars and multiple top-of-the-line visiting artist and designer programs, PSU's School of Art + Design brings students from a variety of backgrounds together to exchange ideas and cross conventional aesthetic boundaries. Whether in the studio, computer lab, lecture hall, or working in the community via internships, service projects, exhibitions and collaborations, our students have the opportunity to forge connections between traditions of visual art and their own developing expression.