October 2018 – February 2019

The Artist Accelerator Program is comprised of professional development programming and residencies for emerging artists. Artists in residence participate in supportive peer development through casual critiques, professional development lectures, and preparation of a body of artworks to exhibit at The Arts Center in January 2019. Artist Accelerator resident artists are selected for community-building and personal growth potential, as well as ability and willingness to contribute to the growing artist community.

The first resident artists were featured in a catalog documenting artwork created during their residency, shown in tandem with the Art of Being an Artist, and exhibit for mid-career artists Pete Goldlust and Kristy Kún. 

Watch a video documenting the results of the first artists’ four-month residencies. The residents talk about their time with us in this short video:


Justin Lodge | Painting

Justin Lodge is a artist and educator living and working in Albany, Oregon. He was born in Chardon, Ohio in 1976. Justin holds a Master of Landscape Architecture from Rhode Island School of Design (2005) and a Bachelor of Fine Art from the Cleveland Institute of Art (2000). His current paintings are based on observing the clutter that fills his own mind as observed through meditation. Justin paints multiple skyscapes that exist in the same space, contained in forms that twist and overlap each other. These contorting forms mimic the behavior of thoughts and emotions when observed in the mind. He choose to represent these as skies because of the infinite variety of moods a sky can evoke; from bright and luminous to dark and foreboding. Justin has found most significant about the residency so far is the opportunity to show his work both in the gallery and in a publication. These opportunities have given him the impetus to focus on producing and defining his work in a way he has not  before. He has also benefited from being in communication with other artists, both in the studio and at the lectures. The lectures on professionalism and the business of art have given great information and set a tone for how to get yourself and your work out in the world. 


Photo of Kimberly LongKimberly Long | Ceramics

This opportunity has opened a whole new world to Kim and her work. Growing up in Pueblo, Colorado she was fortunate enough to be surrounded by local artists. The Sangre de Cristo Arts Center invited school age students to engage with the arts and the artists. This left a lasting impression on her to always create and make. Kim is excited to be a part of a program with an encouraging community again. After recently moving to Corvallis, her imagination started to run wild and anytime she looked outside, she began to understand the origins of folklore.

In the trunks of trees there are hidden entrances. After a rain and during a sun break, the gems of raindrops sparkling on the branches. Moss grows to soften some of the roughest surfaces. It is almost as if there are tiny whimsical wanderers out there trying to make our lives a little more enchanted. Naturally, Kim wanted to encourage these wanderers to stay. She began making Gnooks. Gnooks are doors and dwellings that invite whimsical wanderers to open the eyes of humans to all that is naturally enchanting. Getting to work at The Arts Center provides an artistic development opportunity that she never anticipated. Kim is eager to grow professionally, artistically, and confidently with an inspiring community.


Tara Robinson | Painting

Tara Rodden Robinson, Ph.D., is an artist and illustrator. A biologist by training, she presents natural organisms with biological realism while expressing emotion and narrative through color and subtle anthropomorphism. She explores the spiritual nature of the natural world by depicting animals as sacred and worthy of recognition as individuals. Her current series of paintings, entitled “Prayers for Irrational Beasts,” reflects her deep love for nature as well as her  anguish over the destruction of habitats and the loss of biodiversity. Her intent is to give the viewer an intimate and personal experience of each animal. She works in acrylics, watercolor, and colored pencil. When asked what she valued most about being an artist in residence at the Arts Center, she said, “As someone who works at home, I love coming to the Arts Center every day to be part of a community of creatives. I love meeting people and sharing our stories. Most of all, I value the opportunity to contribute to the lives of others through sharing my art and my love of nature.”


Claire Elam | Ceramics – Peer Mentor

Claire grew up with a very close relationship with nature and small communities. These relationships developed throughout her adolescence and when it came time to leave for college she followed the course and chose to go somewhere very small, in the woods, and community focused. Claire has always sought arts education even when she was a small child. Never satisfied with the camps or community college classes she attended, it wasn’t until college that she felt like her limits were fully stretched. Claire has always been in love with painting and the tactile nature of paint. However, along the way her community convinced her to explore ceramics. She spent the following 4 years covered head to toe in clay, plaster, and glaze. The historical connection that paint has with natural elements has always intrigued her and clay has been no different and is very obviously connected to the earth. Claire focuses much of her artwork on the physical connections between nature and communities. She is inspired by the determination and practice of Yoko Inoue, and how she manages to keep a strict practice filled with humor and whimsy. She recently re-discovered the work of James Turrell and his focus over the decades while still creating work that is disorienting and hauntingly beautiful, astounds Claire. Vija Celmins is a long time favorite of Claire’s and she adores the attention to detail and the painstaking processes Celmins uses. Claire is excited to be mentoring Kimberly Long and sharing her ceramic knowledge in such a close and intimate manner.

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