Precipice Fund

2017 Grant Recipients

Precipice Fund is proud to announce its Round Five (2017–18) grant recipients. In the program’s fifth year, $75,000 was awarded to 18 collaborative artist projects and spaces, ranging from $2,300 to $5,000 each.

PICA’s Kristan Kennedy, Artistic Director and Curator of Visual Art, and Roya Amirsoleymani, Artistic Director and Curator of Public Engagement, gathered four panelists to review projects. The 2017 Precipice Fund Panelists were: Yaelle Amir, Independent Curator (Portland, OR); Sarah Biscarra Dilley, Artist and PhD Candidate at University of California, Davis (Oakland, CA); Felisha Ledesma, Artist, Director of S1 Portland, and Former Precipice Fund Grantee (Portland, OR); and Dan Paz, Artist and Lecturer of Interdisciplinary Visual Arts at the University of Washington (Seattle, WA).


Always Never YesterdayAnswers Without Wordsblack apotropeChicken Coop ContemporaryConduitEUZINE Comics & Zine FestGrapefruits Art Spacehome schoolKin Khao Thai DiasporaOri GalleryOV Project SpacePortland Zine SymposiumSchemers, Scammers and Subverters Symposium (SSSS)the first and the lastTidal RockTransformative Justice: Films for the Future by Sensory Organizing ProjectTropical ContemporaryWeird Shift MicroTalks

Always Never Yesterday $3,000

Always Never Yesterday, Bridge Club

Always Never Yesterday (ANY) is a multi-faceted project about the Future. ANY will co-facilitate six queer social events and a publication exploring the future of queer spaces through visual installations, sound, interviews and time. Each event will pair a different artist and DJ to co-conceive a visual installation and soundscape about their ideas of the Future. The publication will include interviews, images of the event, and commissioned essay(s) exploring the past, present and future of the in/visible queer community in a changing city.

Answers Without Words $5,000

Anke Schuettler, Roshani Thakore, Free Mind Collective (Benjamin Hall, Donsha Jackson, Richard Lundqvist, Musonda Mwango, Thomas Price, Don Tunis, Joshua Wright, Jay Barclay Zimmerli)

Answers Without Words creates a dialogue between artists from the incarcerated community at Columbia River Correctional Institution and photographers from around the world. The prisoners send a questionnaire to a photographer of their chosen country. The questions will be answered by photographs instead of words and prompted by a returning set of questions. A photography workshop in prison will help create another round of answers without words from the prison back into the world. The project will culminate in a publication, an exhibition, and a public lecture. The publication will be offered to all the participants and available publicly.

black apotrope $5,000

manuel arturo abreu, Jamondria Harris

black apotrope is a multimedia anthology of black queer aesthetics. We will showcase and collate critical interventions in sound, text, performance, and whatever is at hand against pervasive anti-blackness, then and now (and tomorrow). With pop-up events, a capsule library, limited run chapbooks, and an online archive, black apotrope will create Black queer hubs for making and thinking, accompanied by a public showcase of work.

Chicken Coop Contemporary $4,900

Srijon Chowdhury, Anna Margaret

Chicken Coop Contemporary is a 100 sq. ft. gallery that shares a small barn with a chicken coop that houses 6 chickens, separated by chicken wire. Located in the Pleasant Valley neighborhood of outer SE Portland, the artists and curators of the 2018 program—from Portland, Los Angeles, Berkeley, New York, Arkansas, and Berlin—will consider the setting as they develop their projects.

Conduit $3,500

Jade Novarino, Esse Rivers

Conduit is an artist-run art space located at the summit of Mount Scott on outer SE Portland in an artist-built home. Conduit functions as an exhibition space; a stage; a residency; an experiment; a support system; and a collaborative practice engaging with local and national artists alike to create unique experiences at the confluence of art and everyday life.

EUZINE Comics & Zine Fest $4,000

Alida Bevirt, Rosie Lockie, Ryan Mishap, Aaron Sullivan, Jamie Walsh

EUZINE Comics & Zine Fest is an annual event for graphic artists, storytellers, and advocates from across the Pacific Northwest and beyond to show and sell their work in Eugene OR. This event bridges art communities, amplifies diverse voices, and connects local and regional artists. EUZINE also hosts local ‘satellite events’ throughout the year such as zine-readings and workshops to encourage creativity, participation, leadership, and to provide arts education. EUZINE 2018 will increase in scale through the hosting workshops and artist talks during the event.

Grapefruits Art Space $5,000

Martha Daghlian, Cameron Hawkey, Jamaali Roberts, Alix Ryan

Grapefruits is a visual art space operated and curated by artists Martha Daghlian, Cameron Hawkey, Jamaali Roberts, and Alix Ryan. Grapefruits features local and visiting artists in monthly shows, maintains three artists’ studios, and hosts community workshops and performances by artists and musicians. The Precipice Fund grant will support the costs of producing the 2018 program season, including ten exhibitions and a catalog documenting Grapefruits shows since March 2017.

home school $5,000

manuel arturo abreu, Victoria Anne Reis

home school is a free pop-up art school in Portland creating welcoming contexts for critical engagement with contemporary art and its issues. home school’s multimedia, transdisciplinary curriculum honors the casual rigor of the etymology of “school,” from the Greek “shkole” (idleness, leisure, rest, free time). The curriculum includes artist talks, exhibitions, panels, poetry readings, sound events, and more. All events are streamed online and archived for distance learning.

Kin Khao Thai Diaspora $4,700

May Cat, Renee Owens, Peggy Sisouvong

Kin Khao Thai Diaspora livestreams intimate interviews of Thai diaspora artists eating Thai food, while sharing our Southeast Asian culture, history, and tradition virtually with the general public. The location is at the artist’s studio, kitchen, or place of choice, with food prepared by Thai vendors or the artist. The livestream will be in Oregon, along with three special livestreams in Chicago, NYC, and LA’s’ Thai Town. KinKhao means “share a meal” and literally translates to “Eat Rice.”

Leila Haile, Maya Vivas

Ori Gallery is an art gallery focused on lifting the voices of Trans and Queer Creatives of Color via art exhibitions, community organizing and mobilization through the arts. Located in the heart of a gentrified neighborhood that was previously a Redlined area of town, Ori is first and foremost about the reclamation of space and prioritizing the leadership of those most impacted by white supremacy, transphobia, and ableism. Utilizing art as a praxis for social justice, Ori not only uplifts the voices of the most marginalized, but utilizes the space as a hub for community organizing, education and mobilization.

OV Project Space $2,700

Marguerite Bailey, Erin Johnson

OV Project Space is an artist run gallery located in the basement of a home in Portland. Since January 2016, we have hosted shows with painting, sculpture, video, performance and installation. OV aims to provide a venue for artists and thinkers to experiment in their practice and is committed to hosting a supportive community with which to share artistic endeavors.

Portland Zine Symposium $2,900

Benjamin Andersson, Louis Finch, Kim Price, Liz Yerby

Portland Zine Symposium is a conference with a focus on zines, independent publishing, and the D.I.Y. community. An important aspect of PZS is its programming of innovative, artist-run, and artist-driven workshops and panels, which have included a “Zines 101” workshop; a shrinky dinks workshop; a community media panel featuring Miss Anthology, Street Roots, Open Signal, and The Racist Sandwich podcast; and an “Our City, Our Voice” panel featuring Sabina Haque and Madison High School students. The Precipice Fund grant will support similar programming in 2018.

Schemers, Scammers and Subverters
Symposium (SSSS) $3,500

Roz Crews, Ralph Pugay

SSSS is a one-day symposium that includes panel talks, workshops, and tertiary events relating to topics of schemes, scams, and subversions. Inspired by and acting as a send-up of business conferences, this event will reflect the ways in which schemes and scams have been institutionalized in our current political system, offering a hub for conversation, education, reflection, and awareness for those who have benefitted from and/or have been victimized by such gestures.

the first and the last $5,000

kiki nicole, ariella tai

the first and the last is a screening, workshop and exhibition series that will provide artistic, educational, and financial resources to four black femme video and new media artists working in Portland, alongside two California-based artists. Each artist will lead an event for which they select an influential piece of experimental film by a black femme to be screened, followed by a skillshare or workshop. Artists and their work will be included in an online exhibition. Our intentions behind creating and realizing “the first and the last” are to center, validate, nourish and archive the artistic efforts of black trans and non-binary femmes and black women in experimental film, video and new media arts.

Tidal Rock $3,500

Agnes Field, Brenda Harper, Jessica Schleif

The Tidal Rock Project is an artist environmental installation and video projection, with sound and performance in an evocative and currently abandoned outdoor green space in central downtown Astoria. The collaborative artists will lead an effort to engage community artists and performers, tribal members and municipal staff of the City of Astoria in a pre-renovation and a cumulative event that will include a temporary art installation using natural materials on site with video projection, sound and performance.

Transformative Justice: Films for the Future by Sensory Organizing Project $5,000

Riley King, Sea Mason, Christopher Melton, Anna Swanson

Sensory Organizing Project is a fledgling radical queer video/art collective, using experimental/documentary filmmaking to amplify political organizing work around Portland. We provide low-to-no-cost, non-commercial video documentation for activists, supporting our communities in authoring their own media narratives. We also pursue longer-form creative projects, including our current film series, Transformative Justice, which interweaves suppressed narratives of Portland communities most affected by systemic oppression, collaboratively imagining a future beyond the prison industrial complex.

Tropical Contemporary $5,000

Jam Jessie Allison, Jonathan Bagby, Andrew Douglas Campbell, Maddison Colvin, JoJo Ruby

Tropical Contemporary is an exhibition and studio space in Eugene, Oregon. Tropical was created with the intention to be open, affordable, and collaborative, with a goal to provide the Eugene community with access to viewing, participating in, and creating contemporary art with an emphasis on providing a platform for marginalized artists to exhibit their work. As a collective, we aim to inspire people to create, engage, and be part of conversations larger than themselves.

Weird Shift MicroTalks $2,300

Carl Diehl, Rosalynn Rothstein, Adam Rothstein

With a whiff of Pecha-Kucha, and a penchant for sideline knowledge, Weird Shift’s Microtalks are evenings of short presentations that have included inspiring rants, marginalia studies, and artists’ talks. Audiences enjoy and/or become part of an array of offerings from local artists, writers, concept engineers, and independent researchers. Through an open-mic style format, presenters share various creative investigations, including formal artistic pursuits and other projects outside the domain of school, work, and professional practice.


For full project summaries, quotes, and more press information, please download the press release for the grant announcement (PDF).