Crystal Schenk

Assistant Professor in Foundation, Sculpture

MFA 2007 Portland State University (Sculpture)
BFA 1999 The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (Sculpture)

I primarily make sculpture and sculptural installations, although sometimes dabble in video, drawing and knitting when the mood strikes. Rather than practicing material monogamy, my sculptures range from stained glass to magnets to expanding foam. I have a very labor-intensive and detail-oriented way of working, in which craftsmanship and material choices play a large role. Woven through what initially appear as visually disparate works are common themes of class structure, heritage, physical and mental illness, and the fluctuating perceptions of memory. While much of my subject matter is drawn from my past, the topics I explore are based on experiences we all share—bridging the gap between personal and public. Each piece captures a moment within a broader story, one that is left for the viewer to contemplate and allow their imagination complete.

Schenk’s artwork has been widely published, including features in Sculpture, Craft, and Whitewall magazines. Art-st-urban, in Switzerland, represented her work at Art Basel in 2013 and Open 18 in Venice Italy in 2015. Locally, her work was represented at the Oregon biennial, Portland 2010, and exhibited at Bullseye and Linfield galleries. She is currently working on national public commissions with her husband Shelby Davis, and locally their artwork can be seen on Division Street in Portland, and on Main Street in Estacada.

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