Sharita Towne receives 2019 Creative Capital Award

January 16, 2019

image of person holding up poster for Black Life Experiential Research Group

Big congratulations to faculty member Sharita Towne who has been selected for a 2019 Creative Capital Award along with Lisa K. Bates for their project The Black Life Experiential Research Group. This is a $50,000 award in support of the development of what Towne and Bates call "a think tank" that produces "transmedia experiences."

The Black Life Experiential Research Group ... anchors itself to a Black geography of Portland, but it doesn’t stop there. It’s porous and collaborative with diverse artists, thinkers, audiences, and cityscapes. It can fly through neighborhoods that were razed by slum clearance, exhume voices and documents that unsettle our understanding of what happened then, now, and can happen in future. It gives language, shape, and form to Black imagination through public art and intervention, augmented reality, print, and video, to breathe possibilities back into sites of Black Life in Portland and beyond.

In 2017, Towne exhibited the ambitious project, This is a Black Spatial Imaginary, at Paragon Gallery at PCC, at Center for Contemporary Art & Culture at PNCA, and at the Memorial Coliseum. "This Is A Black Spatial Imaginary considers the movement and fixity of Black communities, by activating past, present and future spaces for Black life."

The Creative Capital grant is known for being accompanied by "a long-term commitment of advisory and career development support," and has been important for many artists' careers.