Pacific Northwest College of Art
Center for Contemporary Art and Culture

Found in: Museum Events

CraftPerspectives | Lecture: Curator Cassandra Coblentz

Apr 18, 2013 6:30 PM – 8:00 PM


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Taking its title from a passage of writing in Joan Didion’s 1979 essay “The White Album,” Los Angeles-based guest curator Cassandra Coblentz employs Didon’s text as an evocative lens through which to view the diverse body of artwork produced by nine distinguished Oregon-based artists who have and continue to make remarkable contributions to the region’s cultural landscape. We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live explores how these contemporary artists embrace a cross-disciplinary approach to art making wherein the legacies of art, craft, and design merge in work that expands and explores the tactile, conceptual, imaginary, material, and critical potential of cultural production.

Join guest curator Cassandra Coblentz for an in-depth discussion about the curatorial process that required her to work closely with Oregon-based artists and Hallie Ford Fellowship recipients: Daniel Duford, David Eckard, and Heidi Schwegler (2010); Sang-ah Choi, Bruce Conkle, and Stephen Hayes (2011); and Ellen Lesperance, Akihiko Miyoshi, and Michelle Ross (2012). Organizing We Tell Ourselves Stories in Order to Live was Coblentz’s first time working in Oregon, and her unique perspective is bound to reveal some insights relating to the creative zeitgeist of Portland.

Cassandra Coblentz is an independent curator whose practice is distinguished by innovative approaches to engaging audiences and working with artists to produce new work. Most recently, Coblentz was the Associate Curator at Scottsdale Museum of Contemporary Art (SMoCA), where she organized a number of exhibitions including solo retrospectives of Julianne Swartz, Kirsten Everberg, Pae White, and Lyle Ashton Harris. At SMoCA, she initiated the Architecture+ Art program that explores the boundaries between architecture and art through the production of large-scale, site-specific commissions. Additional professional experience includes appointments with the UCLA Hammer Museum, Los Angeles, the DIA Center for the Arts, New York, and The J. Paul Getty Museum, Los Angeles. Coblentz received her BA in Art History and English from Cornell University and her MA from The Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard College.


Free and open to the public. MoCC is always free for the PNCA community.


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