Alumna Awarded One of Four $100K Fields Artist Fellowships

May 03, 2019

Alumna Ka’ila Farrell-Smith (Chiloquin, Klamath, and Modoc) has been awarded a Fields Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Community Foundation and Oregon Humanities. Farrell-Smith receives $100,000 supporting her studio development and her youth mentorship in her tribal community.

The fellowship is "designed to support emerging to mid-career Oregon-based artists. Each fellow will receive $100,000 over two years to both advance their artistic practice and explore the state’s 'opportunity gap,' reflected in widening disparities in life outcomes for Oregon children born into poverty."

According to Oregon Humanities:

Fields Artist Fellows were selected from a pool of more than 150 applicants representing artists of all media, including writers, filmmakers, visuals artists, multimedia artists, cultural heritage artists, musicians, and performing artists. During their fellowships, these fellows will advance their artistic work, explore and respond to the opportunity gap within regional communities, participate in yearly gatherings, and document their experiences and work along the way.

Ka’ila lives and works in her ancestral homelands near Chiloquin, a town within the former Klamath Tribes Reservation lands. The Fields Artist Fellowship will serve as part business incubation and part youth mentorship and education as she plans to build a woodworking studio to sell her art made from local, sustainably harvested timber materials. The studio will also offer drawing, painting and printmaking classes to local Tribal youth.

Farrell-Smith is a co-director for Signal Fire artist residency program. Her exhibitions have included those at the Museum of Northwest Art, Tacoma Art Museum, Missoula Art Museum, and Medici Fortress, Cortona, Italy. Her work is in the collections of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and Portland Art Museum. She has done artist residencies at Djerassi, UCROSS, Institute of American Indian Arts, and Crow’s Shadow.

Upcoming exhibitions include Desert Reflections: Water Shapes the West at the High Desert Museum in Bend and the Portland 2019 Biennial at Disjecta.

Learn more about Farrell-Smith’s work at