Elizabeth Malaksa named a Hallie Ford Fellow in the Visual Arts for 2018

The Ford Family Foundation Names Five Oregon Visual Artists as Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts for 2018

Five Oregon visual artists from Corvallis and Portland acknowledged for their talent and their practices


Roseburg, Oregon: The Ford Family Foundation today named its 2018 Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts, recognizing five Oregon visual artists for demonstrated excellence of their work and potential for significant advancement in their practices of art.

A jury of five arts professionals selected Avantika Bawa, Demian Dine╠üYazhi’, Jessica Jackson Hutchins, and Elizabeth Malaska of Portland, and Bruce Burris of Corvallis from a diverse pool of over 150 applicants. They each will receive a $25,000 unrestricted award and will join 30 of their peers selected over the last eight years as Hallie Ford Fellows.

"Despite their diverse practices, our newest Fellows share a lot in common – their fearlessness in pursuit of their practices and the respect they enjoy among their peers," said Anne Kubisch, president of the Foundation. “They bring into our family of Fellows a richness of experience that will also strengthen the community of contemporary art of the region.”

The selection of the 2018 Fellows by a panel of five arts professionals from within and outside of Oregon followed extensive individual review and collective debate. The jurists determined that each is at a pivotal moment of potential transition in his or her career and an infusion of resources now may help to catalyze each artist’s practice in transformative ways.

Serving on the panel were: Michelle Grabner, Artist, Writer, Artistic Director, FRONT International, and Co-curator of 2014 Whitney Biennial (Fox Point, Wis.); Jenna Siman Jacobs, Director of Curatorial Affairs, Museum of Contemporary Art San Diego (San Diego, Calif.); Grace Kook-Anderson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of NW Art, Portland Art Museum (Portland, Ore.); Scott Malbaurn, Director, Schneider Museum of Art, Southern Oregon University (Ashland, Ore.), and Diana Nawi, Independent Curator, Former Associate Curator Perez Art Museum Miami, co-Artistic Director, Prospect New Orleans, (Los Angeles, Calif.)


The 2018 recipients were selected based on the following criteria:

•Quality of their work: artistic excellence/exemplary talent and depth of sophisticated exploration evidenced in past work,

•Evolution of their work: whether the individual is poised at a pivotal point in his or her practice and would benefit from a Fellowship at this time of career, and

•Effect of the Fellowship on their work: how the Fellowship goals are consistent with the artist's goals, potential for future accomplishment and capacity both to improve individual work and contribute significantly to Oregon's visual arts ecology. 


Elizabeth Malaska: Painting. Practicing artist, Associate Professor and BFA/MFA mentor at both Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA), and Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC). Malaska is deeply engaged in the history of Western art, and her practice is specifically concerned with the use of feminine bodies in painting. Her work employs the female body; but does so in order to foreground how these bodies (and subjects) have been made and used—primarily by men—to perform and reinforce hegemonic norms of gender and identity. Malaska employs varied material approaches, use of dense pattern, and aggressive flattening of the picture plane to address embodiment, femininity, patriarchal hegemony and art history from multiple, often intersecting angles. Bringing together clashing signifiers, Malaska’s work evokes the uncanny and disrupts viewers’ ability to locate a fixed interpretation. Her work has been viewed in solo shows predominantly on the West Coast (Portland, OR, San Francisco, CA and Richland, WA) and in Bar Harbor, ME. Curators have included her work in numerous group exhibitions in Portland, Newberg, and Salem, OR, Richland, WA, Chicago, IL, and in Eureka, Oakland, and San Francisco, CA. She shares extensive time as both a mentor to undergraduate and graduate students in PNCA and OCAC’s fine art degree programs as well as serving as a visiting professor and lecturer. Malaska has received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission and grants from both OAC and the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC). She has been a nominee for The Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Fellowship, its Emerging Artists Fellowship and its MFA Award. In 2011 she was a nominee for the Portland Art Museum’s Contemporary Northwest Art Awards and has been awarded multiple merit and trustee scholarship awards from both PNCA and the California College of the Arts (CCA). Her work has been critiqued in a number of publications and online presence, including ArtForum, Art in America, The Oregonian, Oregon Arts Watch, Willamette Week, Portland Monthly, Gata Flora Magazine, and the west coast edition of New American Paintings. She is represented by Russo Lee Gallery. Malaska earned her Bachelors of Fine Art with an emphasis in Painting and Drawing from California College of the Arts in 2006 and her Masters in Visual Studies from PNCA in 2011.


Artist Quote:

I am deeply invested in reshaping Western culture’s relationship to women and the feminine, especially as they appear in paintings. Re-visioning histories, I use elements from art’s past and present — assembled in new ways. These elisions create slippages, allowing me to mine the power given to traditionally sanctioned signs that result in redistributing their forces along more equitable lines.



The Fellowships are one of seven program components of The Ford Family Foundation Visual Arts Program established in memory of Hallie Ford, a co-founder of the Foundation. The twin goals are to accelerate an enhanced quality of artistic endeavor by Oregon's established visual artists who are at pivotal points in their careers and to improve Oregon's visual arts ecology. Other components include artists-in-residence programs in Oregon and out of state; support for exhibitions, catalogues and other forms of documentation; small capital projects; grants for unanticipated career opportunities; bringing curators and critics from outside the region to Oregon for studio visits and community dialogue; and providing funding to acquire seminal works by Oregon visual artists to preserve access to them in the public realm. The Foundation is the sole funder of this program but partners with Oregon's leading visual arts educators, gallerists, and museum and arts professionals in certain aspects of program delivery.

The Ford Family Foundation was established in 1957 by Kenneth W. and Hallie E. Ford. Its mission is “successful citizens and vital rural communities” in Oregon and Siskiyou County, California. The Foundation is located in Roseburg, Oregon, with a Scholarship office in Eugene. For more information about the Foundation and its Visual Arts Program please visit www.tfff.org.