Here’s the news from the Lane Arts Council:

Eugene, OR – In 2020, Lane Arts Council, with funding from the City of Eugene Cultural Services, Banner Bank, and individual donors, launched a new grant opportunity for individual artists in Eugene. The grant provided financial support for new projects or creative endeavors that would advance the artist’s career or artistic development. Artists could apply within one of three categories: visual and media arts, music and dance, and theater and literary arts.

Five artists were chosen to receive grants between $1,000 and $2,000 and have completed or are nearing completion of their projects. Artist projects addressed many of the social issues of the past year with some creatively pivoting in response to COVID-19.

Thi Nguyen was awarded a grant for A Portrait of Cottage Grove, a solo art exhibition and published art book of oil portraits and urban landscapes. She used census data to guide her choice in portrait subjects to reflect age, gender, race, and household income. With each sitting, Nguyen interviewed her subjects about culture, religion, challenges, careers, and relationships. The final book, Garden of People, A Portrait of Cottage Grove, will be portraits and quotes together. “Perhaps in looking at this broad picture of what it is to be a city, folks living together, people in different socioeconomic classes, of different religions, viewpoints, job histories, relationships, we will discover some beautiful secrets about society, humanity, and ourselves,” Nguyen said. Her. portraits will be shown in Windowfront Exhibits in downtown Eugene starting during Visual Arts Week, August 6-13, until the end of September.

Kate Harnedy is creating photographic portraits of local artisans who work in traditional processes using a traditional wet plate collodion photography tintype. “Through this series I hope to share my respect for the artisans who work in these historic mediums,” she said. “They are tradition bearers and living history, enriching the Lane County community with craft and knowledge.” The process requires photographic material to be coated, sensitized, exposed, and developed within the span of about fifteen minutes, necessitating a portable darkroom for use in the field. The Artist Grant from Lane Arts Council helped Harnedy create the portable darkroom in order to capture subjects in their own environment. Harnedy’s work can be viewed in Windowfront Exhibits during the upcoming Visual Arts Week in Eugene. Her work also can be seen at the Whiteaker Community Market in both a booth and live streamed presentation in August or September. Plans are in progress with Lane County Historical Museum for a future showing of the photographs.

Kathleen Caprario has created a multo-media art installation “Patterns of Privilege – Under My Skin” that was part of a larger exhibit, “A Critical Conversation” at Eugene Contemporary Art (ECA). The exhibit “focused on art that is anti-racist in its intention and comments on or questions racism,” Caprario said. “Issues of identity, privilege, politics, history and place are rich areas to explore through work that subverts or reveals a point of view.” Her project is designed to reflect the layering of patterns brought to conversations of race and privilege. It can be viewed now in downtown Eugene’s Windowfront Exhibitions.

Jorah LaFleur produced a collection of spoken word poetry titled “Covidian Times,” with a reading livestreamed from Tsunami Books in December 2020. The evening wove together LaFleur’s words with music by David Jacobs-Strain. The success of working with a musician led to LaFleur working with cellist Nisha Calkins for a professionally filmed spoken word reading of pieces from “Covidian Times.” The project will culminate in the release of a self-published book of poetry based on daily reflections during the COVID lockdown and restrictions of the past year. LaFleur will help kick-off the return of First Friday ArtWalk and Visual Arts Week at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 6, at the Park Blocks with a spoken word poem titled “Emergence.”

Cullen Vance won his grant for an innovative interactive album that gave listeners control of their musical experience. The album, yet to be released, gives users control of various musical elements and instruments to explore composition and create a musical piece of their own. Vance, a musician, composer, video-game designer and coder, nonetheless found the project challenging. “It required the highest application of every skill I’ve acquired over my career,” he said. “The musical challenge of writing 29 sections of music that work forwards, backwards, twice as fast, half as fast, and all harmonize with every other section of music and yet are all distinct was an enthralling musical endeavor.”

Lane Arts Council, with funding from the City of Eugene Cultural Services Division, will offer the Artist Grant again in 2021. Details regarding application eligibility and requirements will be released during August.

Visual Arts Week runs Aug. 6-13. Four of the five Artist Grant recipients will participate in an ArtTalk panel to be livestreamed at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Aug. 9, with access via Lane Arts Council’s Facebook page.

Lane Arts Council is a nonprofit organization that works to cultivate strong and creative arts communities throughout Lane County, by providing high-quality arts experiences, engaging people of all ages in arts education, and encouraging artistic endeavors.