In 2002, three founding partners—Nancy Vail, Jered Lawson, and Karen Heisler purchased a triangular 14-acre property on California’s San Mateo coast to establish Pie Ranch. The shape of the land, and their shared vision to create a model center of sustainable farming and food system education, inspired the farm’s distinctly fitting name.

Since 2005, Pie Ranch has operated as a working farm, hosting youth from regional high schools to participate in farm-based programs and activities. Pie Ranch also works with educators and community collaborators in diverse urban, suburban and rural settings to help students apply what they’ve learned at Pie Ranch in their daily lives. In addition, Pie Ranch mentors aspiring farmers as resident apprentices who spend a full year immersed in all aspects of farm operations and marketing.

About Portland State University Art and Social Practice MFA Lecture Series

Organized by PSU’s Art and Social Practice MFA students in coordination with associate professor Harrell Fletcher, this series includes a wide variety of lecturers including artists, writers, farmers, educators, curators, and administrators whose work in someway relates to the field of art and social practice. PSU’s Art and Social Practice MFA, which is co-directed by Fletcher and Jen Delos Reyes, is constructed as a “flexible residency” so that students can choose to live in or away from Portland during the three year program. This year eight of the nineteen MFA students will be living remotely, and each of them will host a lecture in their own location which will be broadcast via the internet to Portland. All of the other thirteen lectures will take place at PSU. Sign up for our PSU Lecture email list to stay informed on these weekly Monday lectures and the occasional Wednesday night PSU Studio Art Lecture Series.

The lecture series is sponsored in part by Dave and Erika Cianciulli, The Platt Family, and Portland Institute for Contemporary Art.