Congratulations to Mike Bray, Cynthia Lahti
and D.E. May
who are this year's Hallie Ford Fellows. Seems like the Ford Foundation heard some of the criticisms we brought to light this year
For example, Bray is a multimedia artist and both May and Lahti (in addition to Bray) are actually producing the best work of their careers. I don't think of any of them as being academicians at all though Bray does teach at the U of O (a criticism I and many others noted). One should also note that all three have gallery representation... something the first three fellows did not have but has become typical in the last 3 cycles. Lastly, one could debate Bray being a mid career artist (I sat on his thesis review panel) but that's always an incredibly tricky distinction.
Looking at the press release "craft" was once again a major criteria, nothing wrong with that but craft does not define all contemporary art and the little bit about Bray from the jury, "There is fine craft aesthetic underpinning his work, something often underplayed in the digital field." seems like they were trying very hard to justify a multimedia artist who actually uses digital media as craft.
My position is that there is craft in practically all good, object based work and digital mediums have a great deal of craft in them as well.
Panelists included: Dr. George Baker, Professor of Art History, University of California, Los Angeles (Los Angeles, CA); Lawrence Fong, recently retired as Associate Director & Curator of Regional Art, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art / University of Oregon (Eugene, OR); Clara Kim, Senior Curator of Visual Arts, Walker Art Center (Minneapolis, MN); Lawrence Rinder, Director, Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive, University of California, Berkeley (Berkeley, CA); and Prudence Roberts, Art History Professor, Portland Community College, and independent curator (Portland, OR).
The Lumber Room
will showcase a selection of work by the 2013 Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts. A public viewing of the work will be held one weekend only, June 28 and 29, from 12 - 5pm, located at 419 NW 9th Avenue.
Who heard "some of the criticisms we brought to light"?--the three artists? Not clear.
Since it is only the foundation's jury that makes the decisions on who gets the fellowships and the link deals with decision criteria for awarding artists I thought it was pretty self explanatory. The linked article raised quite ruckus but it was something being discussed at large. The MoCC show itself went over like a lead balloon and we critics generally avoided it (mostly for the reasons I outlined in the linked article and the fact that it was so poorly installed, which probably wont happen at the Lumber Room).
I've added "Ford Foundation" to remove any ambiguity.