2017 Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Prize Winners Announced
Author: School of Art + Design
Posted: June 8, 2017


Shawn Creeden, Bower no. 35, 2017. Mixed-media with living plants, 68 x 48 x 26 inches (left); and Staff of Seeding and Summoning, 2017. Yucca flower spike, bones, rabbit fur, stones, parachute cord, 4 x 108 inches (right).


Portland State University’s School of Art + Design is proud to announce the recipients of the 2017 Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Prizes.


Two MFA in Contemporary Art Practice candidates, SHAWN CREEDEN (First Place $5,500) and XI JIE NG (Salty) (Second-place $4,000), and an undergraduate Art Practice BFA student, JAKE MANNING (Third Place $3,000), have been selected as the 2017 Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Prize recipients. These students are evidence that Portland State University’s School of Art + Design holds unprecedented creative promise for a community investing in the next generation of artists and designers across disciplines, markets, and industries. 

This is the fifth iteration of the Arlene Schnitzer Visual Arts Prize. It was created in 2013 with a gift from the Harold & Arlene Schnitzer CARE Foundation to recognize the achievements of School of Art + Design students, raise awareness of the quality of art education at PSU, and honor Arlene Schnitzer, a devoted and inspired leader of art and culture in Portland. The endowed award ensures that each year three aspiring artists and designers will receive significant recognition and a financial leg-up as they began their lives as active, creative practitioners. 

Twenty-nine art and design majors submitted portfolios and video statements this year for review by PSU faculty members Lis Charman, Horia Boboia and Alison Heryer; and community representatives Sarah Miller Meigs, (Founder of the Lumber Room, Portland), Grace Kook-Anderson (Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art, Portland Art Museum), Tsilli Pines (Director, Design Week Portland, and Creative Director for FINE) and Kelsey Snook (Creative Director, Second Story Interactive Studios).

The jury would like to acknowledge the excellent work and achievements of three additional prize applicants by awarding Jury Commendations to Melanie Flood, (MFA Contemporary Art Practice Studio, 2017), Megan Hanley, (MFA Contemporary Art Practice Studio, 2017) and Kayley Berezney (MFA Contemporary Art Practice Studio, 2017).

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


Arlene Schnitzer Visual Art Prize Exhibition

Shawn Creeden, Xi Jie Ng (Salty) and Jake Manning

October 2-25, 2017

Reception and Awards Ceremony: Wednesday, October 18, 5-7pm, awards presentation at 6pm

Autzen Gallery

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

FREE and open to the public



Shawn Creeden, Summoning the Crepuscular Hummingbird to Supper (Kaibob Creek Wilderness, AZ), 2017. (Photograph by Mandy Hampton)



Creeden's artistic practice centers around scrutinizing, challenging and developing his relationship with the non-human world as he plumbs the vast grey areas along the nature-culture continuum. He crafts sculptural objects and sensuous installations from living and non-living materials for use in evolving ceremonial performances. His system for understanding combines scientific knowledge, intuitive compulsions, material investigation, expanded consciousness, social exchanges, play and indigenous wisdom.

Shawn Creeden is an artist, musician, DJ, and semi-professional horticulturist. His work examines the complex and often conflicting relationships between human beings and the natural world. Creeden’s practice shifts among many mediums and formats, including sculpture, installation, drawing, textiles, prints, artist books, dance parties, cable access television, sound and photography. Over the past decade and a half, Creeden has exhibited work, toured, and performed across the United States and in Europe. His explorations into the connections between people and their environments have brought him to remote locations including artist residencies at ACRE in Steuben WI, Epicenter in Green River UT, and two Signal Fire residencies into the backcountry of Arizona. He currently lives in Portland OR, and is pursuing his Masters of Fine Arts in Contemporary Studio Practice at Portland State University’s School of Art + Design.


Xi Jie Ng (Salty), Sab Kuch Milega (All things are possible), 2016. Lo-fi collaborative film, 16 minutes. Jodphur, India.


XI JIE NG (Salty)

Salty's work explores the inherent possibilities in the poetic, eccentric, and infinite everyday. She makes collaborative encounters that are intimate, semi-fictional paradigms for the real and imagined lives of humans. She is interested in seniors as their own cosmos, the role of clown in relation to our deepest selves, the intersection between art, nature and spirituality, and performance that transforms the everyday.

Xi Jie Ng (Salty) is from the tropical metropolis of Singapore. Her works dance across disciplines and have been made and presented in Singapore, USA, Finland and India. She has worked with seniors, buskers, her grandparents, migrant workers and friends in rural India; in a Finnish forest, a restored thrift store, the basement of an old electrical station, by a creek; given facials, embroidered chakras and braided hair. She is currently in the MFA in Art + Social Practice program at Portland State University, attending through a National Arts Council (Singapore) postgraduate scholarship.



Jake Manning, Untitled (popcatapetl), 2017. Oil on canvas, 15 x 13 inches.



Painting offers Manning a tool for sifting through the bombardment of information he encounters on a daily basis. Through that sifting process, he hopes to find meaning. His work explores themes of isolation, escapism, contradiction, and the malleability of human perspective. His paintings begin intuitively and are propelled with an obsessive urgency that is reflected in the handling of the material. The interconnectivity between seemingly disparate works creates the structure for the development of a personal universe.

Jake Manning will receive his BFA from Portland State University in 2017. He began painting in 2012 after a failed attempt as a filmmaker. His work has been exhibited at the Portland International Film Festival and the Autzen Gallery.







Melanie Flood

Megan Hanley

Kayley Berezney



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 1,100 undergraduate majors, a vibrant and growing graduate program, a faculty of internationally recognized artists, designers and scholars, 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.