Harrell Fletcher receives Portland Professorship in Art + Social Practice
Author: School of Art + Design
Posted: August 21, 2019

Harrell Fletcher, Professor of Art, has been selected as the Ausplund Tooze Family Portland Professor in Art + Social Practice. 

Fletcher has produced a variety of socially engaged, collaborative and interdisciplinary projects since the early 1990s. Fletcher arrived at the School of Art + Design in 2004, and founded PSU’s pioneering Art + Social Practice MFA program in 2007. One of the first of its kind in the world, the program's reputation has grown steadily and was recently named as one of the top 15 MFA programs in the US by Artsy.

The program offers students the opportunity to shape the direction of their own education by connecting their personal art practice with people in the community. For more than a decade, Fletcher has guided students through the program’s blend of professional practice, progressive pedagogy, collaborative social engagement, and transdisciplinary exploration to produce a unique and immersive educational experience.

While students create their own individual initiatives, they also participate in ongoing collaborations with Fletcher, such as King School Museum of Contemporary Art (KSMoCA), a contemporary art museum within the walls of Martin Luther King Jr School; Harriet Tubman Center for Expanded Curatorial Practice, an offshoot of KSMoCA in which Harriet Tubman Middle School students learn about various curatorial approaches; and Columbia River Creative Initiatives (CRCI) Artist in Residence program, a series of artist-run programs and classes at the Columbia River Correctional Institution, offering the program continuity.

I’m thrilled to receive the Ausplund Tooze Family Portland Professorship. The funds and acknowledgment will help me to further develop the PSU Art and Social Practice MFA Program as well as various on-going socially engaged projects I’m collaborating on including KSMoCA, The Harriett Tubman Center for Expanded Curatorial Practice, and work with the Columbia River Correctional Institution. ~ Harrell Fletcher

Established as an award for outstanding faculty, Portland Professorships are funded at $25,000 per year for five years. Fletcher plans to use the funding to invest in research and initiatives in which PSU students engage with the community.

About the Philanthropist

During her 89 years of life, Portland native Mary Ausplund Tooze was a continuous learner and encouraged all around her to be the same. She had a passion for the visual and performing arts. Through the Ausplund Tooze Family Foundation, Mary’s investment in regional arts and education continues, with her family directing support to areas of need and impact.

To make a gift or discuss options for supporting PSU art students and programs, contact:

Jaymee Jacoby, Senior Director of Development, College of the Arts
503-725-3396 |
Or, make a gift online at