Museum of Contemporary Craft Awarded Largest Exhibition Grants in 73 Year History

April 22, 2010

April 22, 2010

Leslie Miller, External Relations Specialist
Pacific Northwest College of Art + Museum of Contemporary Craft
503.821.8959 |

Becca Biggs, Director of Communications
Pacific Northwest College of Art + Museum of Contemporary Craft
503.821.8892 |

Museum of Contemporary Craft Awarded Largest Exhibition Grants in 73 Year History
Whiteman Foundation and WESTAF Grants to support exploration of work by artists Betty Feves and Laurie Herrick

PORTLAND, OR—April 22, 2010—Museum of Contemporary Craft (MoCC) is pleased to announce that it has recently been awarded the two largest exhibition grants in the institution’s history. The Museum will receive over $150,000 in awards from the Whiteman Foundation and the Western States Arts Federation (WESTAF) to support touring exhibitions that highlight the work of Betty Feves and Laurie Herrick, two Pacific Northwest women artists significant to the history of American Craft.

The Whiteman Foundation has awarded MoCC a 1:1 challenge grant of $105,000 to develop Generations: Betty Feves, the cornerstone exhibition of the Museum’s 75th Anniversary celebration in 2012. This retrospective features the work of the late Betty Feves (1918-1985), a Pendleton, Oregon-based ceramicist, musician and educator. Feves’ work was exhibited throughout the country and internationally, including exhibitions at MoMA. Her efforts helped broaden the role of ceramics from a strictly functional medium to more artistic and expressive forms. Feves exhibited and taught workshops at what is now MoCC. She received the Governor’s Award in 1977 for contributions in ceramics and music. Opening in March 2012, this historical retrospective will offer a contemporary context through which Feves’ contributions to art and craft in the region will be examined.

The second grant, a $50,000 matching challenge from WESTAF, is in support of the exhibition Laurie Herrick: Weaving Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow. Influential weaver and designer-craftsman Laurie Herrick (1908-1995) taught classes in the textiles program at Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC) from 1958-1979, conducted weaving workshops throughout the nation, and was a leader and board member in regional and national guilds. The retrospective exhibition is scheduled to open March 2011 and will feature selected works of her best-known weaving styles drawn from public and private collections. An online website will provide open access to selected weaving patterns, accompanied by a place for weavers across the globe to upload images of their own interpretations of Herrick’s designs. A series of resident artists will create their own works using Herrick’s designs and patterns as inspiration. Their artwork will be exhibited alongside Herrick’s to illuminate weaving as a vital, contemporary practice.

“We are pleased to receive such tremendous support, allowing us to showcase the impact these craftspeople had on the visual arts of the Pacific Northwest. These exhibitions present regional history in new formats that bring together a range of generations and craft practices. The support of these foundations allows us to honor the vital role that women had in the founding and development of the Museum,” says Namita Wiggers, curator of Museum of Contemporary Craft.

These grants are the first to be awarded by the Whiteman Foundation and WESTAF to Museum of Contemporary Craft and will provide for the development of traveling exhibitions, public programming, website development and publications that support the strong history of craft in Oregon.

About Museum of Contemporary Craft
Committed to the advancement of craft since 1937, Museum of Contemporary Craft (MoCC) in partnership with Pacific Northwest College of Art is one of Oregon’s oldest cultural institutions. Centrally located in Portland’s Pearl District, the Museum is nationally acclaimed for its curatorial program and is a vibrant center for investigation and dialogue, expanding the definition of craft and the way audiences experience it.

About Pacific Northwest College of Art
Since its founding in 1909, Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) has become a leader in innovative educational programs that connect students to a global perspective in the visual arts and design. In addition to its eight Bachelor of Fine Arts degrees, PNCA offers graduate education with an MFA in Visual Studies, as well as an MFA in Applied Craft and Design developed in collaboration with the Oregon College of Art and Craft. PNCA is actively involved in Portland’s cultural life through exhibitions and a vibrant public program of lectures and internationally recognized visiting artists, designers and creative thinkers. With the support of PNCA+FIVE (Ford Institute for Visual Education), the College has a partnership with the nationally acclaimed Museum of Contemporary Craft. For more information, visit