Portland art blog + news + exhibition reviews + galleries + contemporary northwest art

recent entries

Mid April Links
America's Whispered Truths closing at Archer Gallery
Early April Critique of Institution Links
Spring Cleaning Cluster Reviews
Spring Calls
More Spring Cleaning
Early Spring Cleaning Links
D.E. May 1952-2019
Save OCAC protests
February links to Love
The end of OCAC?
End of January Links

recent comments



Book Review
Calls for Artists
Design Review
Openings & Events
About PORT

regular contributors


Tori Abernathy
Amy Bernstein
Katherine Bovee
Emily Cappa
Patrick Collier
Arcy Douglass
Megan Driscoll
Jesse Hayward
Sarah Henderson
Jeff Jahn
Kelly Kutchko
Drew Lenihan
Victor Maldonado
Christopher Moon
Jascha Owens
Alex Rauch
Gary Wiseman



Guest Contributors
Past Contributors
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005

contact us


Contact us






powered by


Movable Type 3.16

This site is licensed under a


Creative Commons License

Thursday 12.08.16

« U of O plans to close White Box | Main | Interview With Blake Byrne »

Grace Kook-Anderson appointed Curator of Northwest Art

Grace Kook-Anderson

The Portland Art Museum has announced that Grace Kook-Anderson will be the next Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art. Congratulations are in order as the position is the chief connector of PAM's curatorial program to the very active art scene. There is a challenge inherent in this as the Museum is somewhat disconnected from the more cutting edges of a nationally and internationally active local scene, often doing a better job of focusing on Seattle and Montana than its own back yard. Challenges are a good thing and it seems like PAM is aware of them because Grace's background seems to address these issues.

The Museum's statement:

"I am thrilled by the appointment of Grace Kook-Anderson as the Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art," said Brian Ferriso, the Portland Art Museum's director and chief curator. "Grace's highly regarded tenure as the Curator of Contemporary Art at the Laguna Art Museum, coupled with her recent work in Portland as an arts writer and critic, make her an ideal candidate to lead our important mission of evaluating and celebrating our region's historical and burgeoning visual arts scene."

During her six years at the Laguna Art Museum, Kook-Anderson organized nearly 30 exhibitions, including the creation and curation of the ex.pose contemporary art program, a space dedicated to a single artist that has strong parallels to the Portland Art Museum's APEX gallery, which she will manage. She expanded the exhibition calendar from one year to three years, served as interim education curator, developed public programs, engaged in fundraising, authored and contributed to multiple publications, and acquired many important pieces for the collection. She also presented Best Kept Secret: UCI and the Development of Contemporary Art in Southern California, 1964-1971 as part of the Getty's 2011/12 Pacific Standard Time Initiative: Art in LA 1945-1980.

"Having closely followed the Portland Art Museum for the last several years, I am very excited to be part of the talented staff of the museum," Kook-Anderson said. "I look forward to collaborating with fellow curatorial and educational staff, deepening my knowledge of the collection, expanding the scholarship of historical Northwest art up to the present time, and actively engaging with regional artists in the context of a broader art scene."

Cursory Analysis:

It is great that she is both a Portland resident already as well as someone with experience with the Pacific Standard Time project, that should help integrate the Northwest into the West Coast discussion. Hopefully, she can sort out several pressing issues including a better sense of how the Apex series and Contemporary Northwest Art Awards programs differ from one another? Also, throughout their history the CNAA awards, though handsome, have been nicknamed the Conservative Northwest Art Awards by the scene. What's more the idea of Northwest art has repeatedly fallen back on stereotypes like craft, whittling and landscape when the history is far more varied with abstraction and new media having a long and continued history of potency here that isnt merely traditional but often cutting edge (a fact that is rarely celebrated or supported institutionally). For example all "craft" is not a celebration of the hand made and so much of the discourse around it has been regressive. Overall, the Pacific Northwest has a long history of an internationally engaged yet uniquely local art scene so lets hope this new appointment can reflect and focus attention on the changes, which are already most apparent. Ultimately it is an interesting tightrope between tradition and the cutting edge that this position must address to bring the Museum itself more into line with the City of Portland.

That said one of the great things about the Portland Art Museum is it has devoted spaces and a program that is focused on Northwest Art regionally and its history. This "back yard" focus is incredibly rare at most major museums and should be celebrated.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on December 08, 2016 at 12:00 | Comments (0)


Post a comment

Thanks for signing in, . Now you can comment. (sign out)

(If you haven't left a comment here before, you may need to be approved by the site owner before your comment will appear. Until then, it won't appear on the entry. Thanks for waiting.)

Remember me?

s p o n s o r s
Site Design: Jennifer Armbrust   •   Site Development: Philippe Blanc & Katherine Bovee