Taking its title from a passage of writing in Joan Didion’s 1979 essay “The White Album,” Los Angeles-based guest curator Cassandra Coblentz employs Didon’s text as an evocative lens through which to view the diverse body of artwork produced by nine distinguished Oregon-based artists who have and continue to make remarkable contributions to the region’s cultural landscape. We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live explores how these contemporary artists embrace a cross-disciplinary approach to art making wherein the legacies of art, craft, and design merge in work that expands and explores the tactile, conceptual, imaginary, material, and critical potential of cultural production.
Each of the nine artists included in the exhibition is a recipient of the prestigious Hallie Ford Fellowship in the Visual Arts. Created to honor the late Mrs. Hallie Ford, co-founder of The Ford Family Foundation and life-long supporter of the visual arts, the fellowships support her belief that all people should have the opportunity to explore and realize their talents. Focused on mid-career artists who demonstrate a depth of practice and potential for significant future accomplishment, the exhibition features the work of Daniel Duford, David Eckard, and Heidi Schwegler (2010); Sang-ah Choi, Bruce Conkle, and Stephen Hayes (2011); and Ellen Lesperance, Akihiko Miyoshi, and Michelle Ross (2012).