Nan Curtis Receives 20th Annual Bonnie Bronson Fellowship Award

3/25/2011 Press Release

Nan Curtis is the recipient of the 20th annual Bonnie Bronson Fellowship Award, funded through the Bonnie Bronson Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation. A public reception for Curtis will be held at Reed College on Monday, April 25, from 6 to 7:30 p.m. in the Gray Lounge of Kaul Auditorium.

Nan Curtis is a multidisciplinary artist, educator and independent curator based in Portland. Her recent work explores ideas about collections, memory, home, place, family, childhood, and social relationships. She often features simple domestic objects with personal associations, slightly altering or re-combining them — or having viewers interact with them — to make poignant and provocative observations of human habits.

Her most recent exhibition in January at Portland’s Nine Gallery featured a series of “rekindled” collections — her own and others’ — where she reconfigured personal collections of objects in ways that humorously and empathetically focused on human predilections for idiosyncratic collecting, as well as on the possibilities of looking at familiar items in new and surprising ways.

She has exhibited her work regionally, nationally and internationally, including shows at ConsolidatedWorks, Seattle; the Tacoma Art Museum; DiverseWorks, Houston; FAARM Gallery, Philadelphia; Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA); FOURTEEN30 Contemporary, Portland; and with the Red Shoe Delivery Service at the Nottdance Festival in Nottingham, England and the Melbourne Art Center in Melbourne, Australia.

Nan Curtis is an assistant professor of sculpture and 3D design at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) in Portland, where she has taught for 16 years.  She was the Feldman Gallery + Project Space director and curator at PNCA from 2000-2006, as well as chair of the sculpture department during the same period.  She is known as a strong student advocate and mentor, committed to building intellectual understanding, trust and confident risk-taking in the classroom.  Curtis also has a reputation for instigating fresh and meaningful exhibitions in her role as a curator, and is credited with raising the quality and purpose of the Feldman Gallery at PNCA to levels that more fully engage both the academic and public audiences.
Curtis received her BA from the College of Wooster and her MFA from the University of Cincinnati. She was born in 1966 and grew up in Louisville, KY.

For each of the past 20 years, the Bronson Fund, through its confidential nomination and selection process, has honored an artist from the Pacific Northwest with a fellowship and the purchase of their work for the Bonnie Bronson Collection. The Collection is housed at Reed College and prominently displayed throughout the campus.  

This fall, an exhibition of the Fellows’ works celebrating the 20th year of the Bronson Fund will be presented by the Ronna and Eric Hoffman Gallery of Contemporary Art at Lewis and Clark College, along with related events at Reed College and Marylhurst University’s Art Gym. A retrospective exhibition of Bonnie Bronson’s work will be presented by the Pacific Northwest College of Art.

The Bonnie Bronson Fellowship

In August 1990, Pacific Northwest artist Bonnie Bronson died in a climbing accident. Bronson — whose accomplishments included enamel on steel sculpture; welded and painted steel collages; painting; and fabric design — had been a powerful force in the Pacific Northwest art community. Family and friends established the Bonnie Bronson Fund of The Oregon Community Foundation in her memory in 1991. The purpose of the fund was to publish a catalog documenting Bronson’s work and life, and to award an annual fellowship to a working artist to advance and encourage intellectual and creative growth. Publication of the catalog coincided with the first Bronson retrospective exhibition mounted by the Portland Art Museum in 1993.

Past recipients, in chronological order: Christine Bourdette, Judy Cooke, Ronna Neuenschwander, Fernanda D’Agostino, Carolyn King, Lucinda Parker, Judy Hill, Adriene Cruz, Helen Lessick, Ann Hughes, Malia Jensen, Christopher Rauschenberg, Kristy Edmunds, Paul Sutinen, Bill Will, Laura Ross-Paul, MK Guth, Marie Watt, and David Eckard.

Christine Bourdette, Chair, Bonnie Bronson Fund Advisory Committee: 503.248.6373
Stephanie Snyder, Director, Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery: 503.777.7251