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Grants support artists' career growth and assist with material purchases for future projects

PHOTO COURTESY: OREGON ARTS COMMISSION - Laura Hughes investigates how individual perceptions of light, form and shape interact with one another in her mixed-media installation, Almost Perfect, up now at Linfield Gallery 
Oregon artists were given reasons to celebrate Monday — more than 100,000 reasons, in fact.

On Feb. 27, the Oregon Arts Commission, The Ford Family Foundation, and The Oregon Community Foundation collectively awarded more than $111,000 to Oregon artists.

"We are pleased to be able to invest in these artists at such pivotal moments in their careers," said Anne C. Kubisch, president of The Ford Family Foundation. "We expect (them) to make significant progress on regional, national and international stages."

In the first round of grant awards, Hillsboro-based artist Jessica Mehta received $1,500 to support her travel to New York City, where she'll read her poetry and lead her first workshop at Berl's Poetry Shop in Brooklyn.

Mehta also will meet with the publisher of her upcoming, third collection of poetry, "The Operating System."

Monday's announcement totalled $111,146 to 44 Oregon artists for career development projects, the second of three Career Opportunity Grants planned for this year.

By round three's end, artist grants will total $200,00, with individual grants for each artist ranging from $535 to $9,000.

"This grant program invests in the career growth of talented Oregon artists," said Julie Vigeland, arts commissioner and grant review panel chairwoman. "We also are so proud to support artists in representing Oregon outside of the region and internationally."

Career Opportunity Grants help artists take advantage of timely opportunities to enhance their artistic careers, according to the Oregon Arts Commission.

The Ford Family Foundation and The Oregon Community Foundation funds are available only to established Oregon artists who are over 30 years of age and actively producing new work. The Ford Family Foundation grants are awarded to artists in the fields of contemporary fine art and craft; The Oregon Community Foundation grants are awarded only to established Oregon artists in the literary and performing arts fields.

Most of the grants from both foundations support the artists' participation in residencies, exhibitions or performance opportunities.

"These artists make our communities so much richer," said Max Williams, president and CEO of The Oregon Community Foundation. "It's an honor to be able to support them in their work as they continue their creative journeys."

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