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C’mon Language is an exhibition in pursuit of an artistic vocabulary.

Designed to draw out and display different means of communication, the evolving installation will workshop, archive, and showcase a variety of perspectives on the common query: “How do we make ourselves understood?” Modeled after some of the core concepts in the early education pedagogy of Reggio Emilia, this open-ended question or “provocation” will be explored through every component of the exhibition—through events, documentation, production, display, and a publication.

Over the course of  C’mon Language, Craycroft will host a series of workshops and lectures lead by artists, scholars, and educators. Each will consider the guiding question through the lens of their given fields, ranging from Linguistics to Painting, Storytelling to Market Research, Physics to Basket Weaving, Activism to Music. A different event will be held each week. Visitors to the exhibition are invited to participate in individual or multiple workshops, by drop-in or appointment. Longer-term commitments are welcome and encouraged.

Craycroft will be in residence in Portland for the duration of the exhibition. During this time she will use the installation as a growing archive that frames how these diverse inquiries relate to the process and presentation of developing an artwork. The furniture and materials of the space will alternate between active use and passive display, forming an exhibition on view concurrently with all events that are held in the space. The skills and ideas cultivated during the workshops will be recorded and transcribed, building a cumulative glossary of images, forms, metaphors, and idioms. Through this accumulation visitors and participants will contribute to the development of a common language and an intelligible work of art.

C’mon Language will be on view at Portland Institute for Contemporary Art from June-August and will culminate in a final presentation for PICA’s Time-Based Art Festival.



Download The Web app for iPhone, iPod, or iPad.

The Web app was developed for the Kessler’s 2013 show The Web, an immersive video installation that invites the viewers to participate in the work by taking pictures on their hand held devices.  Their photos get displayed on monitors throughout the exhibition as well as archived for future use.



Read Craycroft’s series of A Weekly Correspondence online at The American Reader

In these activities and installations, Craycroft draws connections between the questions she is asking with her exhibition, and the questions she has heard (sometimes) answered in the writings of luminary pedagogues like Maria Montessori, Freidrich Froebel, Loris Malaguzzi, Rudolf Steiner, Maxine Greene, Paolo Friere, Lucy Sprague Mitchell and more.


Weekly, Thursdays 1-3:00 p.m.

Ten kindergarten students and their teacher Justine Larson from the Helen Gordon Center join the exhibition to experiment with Anna Craycroft and other participating artists on how their emergent curriculum develops in the context of the art exhibition.


Throughout the run of the exhibition, some of the regular participants in C’mon Language will be leading workshops stemming from their own bodies of research, as inspired by the C’mon Language curriculum. Events will be added to the online schedule as the summer progress; check back regularly and sign up for email updates.