Oregon State seeks artists for 37th annual Art About Agriculture competition and exhibition

  • Art About Agriculture, an annual exhibition of agriculture-themed artwork by Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences, is holding an open call for artists to participate in the 2020 exhibition.
  • The theme for the 2020 exhibition and tour is “Tension/Harmony.” Artists from the Pacific Northwest are invited to explore the future of agriculture through consideration of the relationship between the conservation of natural resources and agricultural production.


FMI: https://today.oregonstate.edu/news/oregon-state-seeks-artists-37th-annual-art-about-agriculture-competition-and-exhibition

What: Call to Artists – The Nature of Isolation from Spring Creek Project at Oregon State University

Who: Writers and artists are invited to submit work about the theme of isolation in five categories: Poetry, Creative Nonfiction, Fiction, Photography, Visual Art

When: Submissions due Monday, May 18

Apply Here


We are collectively experiencing isolation at a scale that was unimaginable weeks ago. Billions of people have been asked to stay home to slow the spread of COVID-19, the disease caused by the rapidly spreading coronavirus. As we shelter in place, not only are we are cut off from the people we love, we are also cut off from the natural places we love. Beaches, forests, and parks are closed. Warning signs are posted at trailheads, and caution tape is wrapped around playgrounds.

Yet we need to connect with nature now more than ever as a respite from the headlines, as a place to breathe deeply and process grief, and as inspiration as we imagine post-pandemic society, among many other things.

Spring Creek Project is launching a call for submissions, The Nature of Isolation, that invites writers and artists to explore their home ecosystems and reflect on the nature of isolation during the pandemic: What are you learning from the shelter of your place? What do house plants know about quarantine? What does your garden offer about mortality? What are you learning about renewal from the wilderness of sunlight and rain out your window? How is this microscopic virus changing the biome of your body and mind?

Submission Guidelines 

We welcome writers and artists of all experience levels to submit work to The Nature of Isolation in five categories by Monday, May 18.

  • Poetry (up to 3 poems)
  • Creative nonfiction (1 piece, 1,000 word limit)
  • Fiction (1 piece, 1,000 word limit)
  • Photography (up to 3 photos)
  • Visual art (up to 3 pieces)

You are welcome to submit a piece in more than one category (e.g., you may submit a non-fiction piece and photography). If you submit in more than one category, please use separate forms for each submission.

Please include a short (2-4 sentence) third-person bio with your submission.

A panel of judges will select submissions for inclusion in an online reading and exhibit.

FMI: https://springcreekproject.submittable.com/submit/164436/the-nature-of-isolation


Introducing The Arts Center 2020 Writing Intern, Juliette Givhan. Givhan will fulfill a writer’s internship with The Arts Center’s Exhibition program, by writing impressions about our January and February 2020 exhibits. Juliette will respond with two works about the January exhibit Andreas Salzman: Narrative and three more about the Howland Community OPEN 2020 exhibit.

We are very excited to showcase the literary arts, and work with Oregon State University’s School of Writing, Literature and Film | Creative Writing Program on another writing intern project — our third!

Our thanks for support of the Literary Arts Fund of The Art Center’s Endowment Fund.

In Juliette’s own words:

“I have always been fascinated with the intersection of visual art and poetic forms. As someone who identifies as both a poet and visual artist, I want to find out how the two can act together outside of the obvious overlap of writing poems that have images on the pages. When I first moved to Corvallis a year ago, I lived off 9th and Washington, so I would wander to the park almost daily. I would put my headphones on and walk through the Art Center gallery, taking time to see the rotating exhibits. I believe this exploration of visual consumption and written production will help my writing grow as well as I continue my education at Oregon State University.”


But I’m Just a Skeleton in the Grass by Juliette Givhan

But I’m Just a Skeleton in the Grass If I could I’d lay here longer— let skin drink sun after an eternity of months gray as the downpour. I’d consume something fizzy, full of sugar, or Hopps— Let it slip […]

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A View of Rome by Juliette Givhan

A View of Rome What you can’t see is how hard it is to get to Tiber Island, locked as it is between two streets that remind you of America— busy, multi-lane death traps Vespas zoom down, weaving & beeping […]

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A Body of Work by Juliette Givhan

“I like the idea of my work being seen together” –Andres Salzman    I.       Spine Unpierced human // unknown body // down your dreary and deepest tree // hanging // trembling spirit // Are you // coming with me?    […]

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Reverberation Song by Juliette Givhan

Reverberation Song A man talks about family and music, while his pieces on the walls reverberate their silence— push it outwards to embed the sound of wood and clay into the hollow space where a gospel must have once roared […]

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Kristi Quillen, Poetry Intern


Kristi Quillen is an MFA in creative writing/poetry candidate at Oregon State University. She is interested in the interplay of visual art and the written word, which she explores through writing poetry in response to artwork and through letterpress and book art forms. Before moving to Corvallis, she was an editor at a sustainability magazine, a Peace Corps volunteer, a teacher trainer and mentor, and a high school literature teacher. She enjoys spending time in forests around Corvallis and is often inspired by trees, mosses, and lichen, which appear in her poems.

The Arts Center is excited to have Kristi as a writing intern for 2019, creating connections between the written word and visual art. Her poem, You Can, was created in conjunction with the Art of Being an Artist exhibit.


Conversations in the Corrine with Oregon State University School of Art and Communication Art Students on Wednesday,  Feb 7, 12 noon

Bring your lunch!

Exhibit runs in the Corrine Woodman Galleries I & II from Feb 6 – March 3, 2018

For more information


Oregon State University School of Art and Communication Art Students

in the Corrine Woodman Galleries I & II | Feb 6 – March 3, 2018

  • Conversation from the Corrine Woodman Gallery: Wednesday,  Feb 7, 12 noon

For more information

By Natalie Saleh

“A lot of people think bacteria are these bad terrible things that hurt us, but the vast majority of microbes are not bad. The vast majority of microbes could be described as good in a lot of ways,” says Ryan McMinds, a microbiology graduate student at Oregon State University and one of the members of the Global Coral Microbiome Project.

Understanding “Good Bacteria” in Coral

McMinds has travelled all over the world, studying the microbiomes of corals, from Saudi Arabia to Australia to the Virgin Islands, but  now he can most often be found working in the Rebecca Vega Thurber lab on campus.

McMinds’ work is essential in furthering our understanding of why coral reefs are being wiped out all over the world, so further destruction of coral reefs can be mitigated. To understand this issue, Vega Thurber’s lab is approaching the study of coral in a way that has never been done before.  

“A lot of previous research has focused on model species, and how environmental stressors might change microbes. What we want to do is expand this research to include the diversity of coral species. There’s about 350 million years’ worth of divergence within corals, and there are dozens and dozens of genera and species. Nobody has ever looked at them comparatively to see how different groups of corals have differently structured microbes,” says McMinds.

Despite how many coral reefs have deteriorated in the past few decades, scientists have been unable to identify the bacterial pathogens that have caused many of these diseases. Scientists have conducted a lot of research in pursuit of these bacteria, but even for each individual disease, the problem seems to be too complex to be explained by one bacterium.

To further this research, McMinds and the team are studying the “good” bacteria that do things like provide nutrients or defend the coral from potentially “bad” bacteria. A lack of these “good” bacteria could be the missing factor contributing to the destruction of the coral reefs.

Reaching Outside Academia

Beyond being an experienced researcher, McMinds is passionate about finding ways to reach out to people beyond the academic science community to share the knowledge he and his team are uncovering.

“We are getting the word out, educating people, just letting people know what’s happening. We are trying to do it in a way that’s trustworthy, directly from the source, not muddled by a third-party media. Getting the word out is extremely important if we want to save these reefs,” says McMinds.

McMinds and the team have partnered with videographers who accompany them on some of their trips across the world, like Lizard Island, The Red Sea, Varadero and Mo’orea, and document their work, 

“They’re interviewing the locals in a lot of these places, showing that this problem is not just about a pretty reef ecosystem. These are the livelihoods of millions of people around the globe, directly relying on coral reefs. As the entire ecosystem is disappearing, so are millions of people’s livelihoods. That’s scary,” says McMinds.

Microbiology pervades our lives. The research McMinds and other microbiologists are conducting can help us understand our connection to each other and the environment that surrounds us.

To see visualizations of what our connection to the microbiome looks like, attend To See the Unseen at The Arts Center from April 13 to May 27. Heres a link for more information


Header image | Mountain XV  by Christopher Russell 

Surface Tension:
Works by Christopher Russell and Rafael Soldi

  • Exhibit runs October 5, 2017 – November 9, 2017
  • Opening Reception on Thurs, October 5, 2017, 5:30 – 7:30 pm
  • October 21, 6pm – Artist Talk with Christopher Russell and Rafael Soldi – Free for Corvallis Art Center members and SPENW conference attendees. All others $10. 

The Exhibit and conversation are in conjunction with the Society of Photographic Educators Northwest Regional Conference, at OSU, October 20 and 21.

Surface Tension is a two-person exhibition presenting works by artists Christopher Russell and Rafael Soldi. This pairing acknowledges a shared lightness in the aesthetics of their work. However, this initial perception obscures a hidden drama that occurs below the surface of their photographs. Both artists mask their works with a veil of ethereality, enticing the viewer into closer engagement.

Portland-based artist Christopher Russell’s scratched and abraded photographs are often ambiguous and fractured, reflecting his exploration of the darker aspects of the human psyche. His photographs, taken in the landscape around Portland, have few traces of the original scene; relying on color and lens flare to entice. These ambiguous and yet seductive photographs are then scratched and re-worked to create images that imply a contrived but sublime landscape. Russell’s work appears in two dozen museum collections, including museums of contemporary art in Los Angeles, Chicago, San Diego and Antwerp. Russell received his BFA from the California College of Arts and Crafts, and his MFA from the Art Center College of Design, CA. He is represented by the Von Lintel Gallery in Los Angeles.

Rafael Soldi’s project “Life Stand Still Here” explores internal dialogues and moments when life and its darkest facets can offer monumental symbolism. Through a variety of image-making techniques, Soldi deftly mixes portraiture and abstraction as a metaphor for personal loss. His images open the interplay between the viewer’s histories and his, a kind of dark mirroring that makes visible their shared psychic struggles. Based in Seattle, Soldi received his BFA from the Maryland Institute College of Art. His work is in the permanent collections of the Tacoma Art Museum, Frye Art Museum, and the King County Public Art Collection. Soldi is the co-founder of the Strange Fire Collective, an online magazine and project dedicated to highlighting work made by women, people of color, and queer and trans artists.

Surface Tension is organized by Julia Bradshaw, Assistant Professor of Art and New Media Communications at Oregon State University. The exhibition is in conjunction with the Society of Photographic Educators Northwest Regional Conference, which will take place at Oregon State University on 20/21 October. Alongside the Corvallis Art Center, SPENW is a sponsor of this exhibition.

For more information contact: Julia Bradshaw Julia.bradshaw@oregonstate.edu

08_Soldi_Veer_Surface Tension: Works by Christopher Russell and Rafael Soldi

Rafael Soldi | Veer

Russell_Mountain XV08_Soldi_Veer_Surface Tension

Christopher Russell | Mountain XV









Many thanks to the sponsors for this exhibit


Header image artwork by Pete Goldlust

April 13 – May 27, 2017

is an exhibit inspired by microbiology research and research methods.

The Arts Center showed artwork created through an art+science collaboration between OSU’s Department of Microbiology and The Arts Center, along with artworks created during integrated art+science residencies at four Elementary Schools.

Researchers in OSU’s Department of Microbiology study microbial systems that affect human health, biodiversity of animal species, and quality of air, earth and water. Scientific research such as this holds keys to our future, but understanding it is difficult for many people. This exhibition invites visitors, artists and researchers to take a fresh look at the “unseen.”  Microbiology tries to measure, visualize and understand complex microscopic systems in the same way artists seek understanding of life’s many questions. Past arts, science and technology collaboration at The Arts Center have been proven beneficial for artists, scientists and interested lay people alike.

Lead scholar for the project is Dr. Jerri Bartholomew, Professor, Department Head, Emile F. Pernot Distinguished Professor of the Department of Microbiology of Oregon State University. Dr. Bartholomew is also an accomplished artist working in glass and her work is represented in the show. Students from her programs will share information about their research projects with during the CAW on Thursday May 18, 4 – 8 PM, with an added interactive presentation sponsored by da Vinci Days at 6 PM. 

Artwork in the MICROBIOMES: TO SEE THE UNSEEN exhibit makes connections between the science of microbiology, and how microorganisms are at the foundation of life.  Microbiologists often find beauty and patterns with the microbes with which they work. The featured artwork addresses a range of possible connections between art and microbiology research; wherever we could presenting an image of the artists’ source of inspiration.

Artists participating are Jerri Bartholomew, Michael Boonstra, Kate McGee, Chi Meredith, Amanda Salov, Lauren Odell Usher Sharpton, Debby Sundbaum-Sommers, Leslie Tejada, Wendy Yoder Holub, and from Rural Alchemy Workshop Karin Bolander and Emily Stone, Bets Cole, Diane English, Pete Goldlust and Mike E. Walsh; Andries Fourie, Susan Circone, Eileen Nolan Kressel; Philip Benn, Meaghan Gates, Kristin LeVier, Linda Reichenbach, Johanna Rotko and Katherine Schwarting. Preview Included ARTWORKS  >>

About the Artwork: Artists learned about microbiology research being done at OSU and had opportunities to work in the lab with graduate student researchers. Artwork created for the show addresses a range of connections between art and microbiology. The exhibition features both invited artists and juried artists. Their work represents media such as glass, video, polymer and natural clay, photography, printmaking and painting. Two works are entirely participatory, either at The Arts Center or at a farm in Philomath. To register for the Rural Alchemy Workshop in Philomat contact hester@theartscenter.net.

A full color catalog with essays, poetry and images and statements from each artist accompanied the exhibit. The catalog documents connections between art and science, and the development of STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) to STEAM (added art). The catalog was made possible with support from the Oregon Cultural Trust and OSU College of Science.  

More art+science:

Art + Science Project Blog

SPARK: Arts & Science @OSU

OSU Department of Microbiology

Complex Communities: an interactive artwork 

Calendar 2017:

  • April 13 – May 27, 2017 – Exhibition dates
  • April 20 – Reception and CAW | Thursday, 4 – 8 pm
  • April 27 –  Art Talk | Thursday, 12:15  – 1:15 pm
  • May 18 – May CAW | daVinci Days in May Lecture | Thursday, 4 – 8 pm
    • Graduate students with science stations
    • Rebekah Perry | Leonardo daVinci: The Artist & The Scientist
    • Food & Beverages cultured with scientific principles
  • May 21 – Poetry, Music and Performance | Sunday, 3 – 5 pm
  • WELCOME TO THE SECRETOME Workshop | Saturday, April 29, 10 – 12 pm 

WELCOME TO THE SECRETOME was a two-hour, site-specific workshop will feature performances by Domestic/Wild artists Emily Stone and Karin Bolender.

Sunday May 21, 3 – 4 pm, The Arts Center presented an afternoon of art + science with Dr. Jerri Bartholomew, Charles Goodrich of the Spring Creek Project and Dana Reason, instructor of Popular Music Studies at Oregon State University in the School of Arts & Communication. 

 OUR THANKS to Spring Creek Project, and to the following, for their support of this art+science collaboration:

osu_science-college1 sparklogo osu_liberal-arts OAClogo culturaltrustlogogreen
ARTWORKS_logo CorvallisCityLogoVectorForPrint


Blog Posts sharing the artworks being created for this upcoming exhibit.

Our Thanks for sponsorship assistance from the Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon State University’s College of Science, Oregon State University’s College of Liberal Arts, SPARK: Arts & Science @OSU, and the Oregon Arts Commission.

Natalie’s Blog: Connecting the Dots between Microbiology and Art

Natalie's Blog: Connecting the Dots between Microbiology and Art

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Microbiomes: TO SEE THE UNSEEN | blog

Blog for Microbiomes: To See the Unseen | April-May 2017,

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Microbiomes: TO SEE THE UNSEEN | blog

Blog for Microbiomes: To See the Unseen | April-May 2017,

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Microbiomes: TO SEE THE UNSEEN | blog

Blog for Microbiomes: To See the Unseen | April-May 2017,

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