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Caldera’s Golden Spot Award Residency


Project Overview

Since 2011, Caldera has been honored to be one of several host sites in Oregon for The Ford Family Foundation’s “Golden Spot” residency, recognizing our Artists in Residence (AiR) Program’s distinctive environment and the consistent support we provide Oregon visual artists.

The Ford Family Foundation’s Golden Spot award supports residency programs in Oregon that provide opportunities for artists to explore or produce new work. As part of The Ford Family Foundation’s Visual Arts Program, Golden Spot works to enhance the quality of artistic endeavors and body of work by Oregon’s most promising visual artists. It also serves to improve Oregon’s visual arts ecology by making strategic investments in Oregon institutions such as Caldera. Fifty percent of the award funds support the operations of the residency program; the other fifty percent provides stipends to the selected artists to offset life and work expenses.

Golden Spot Recipients


John Akira Harrold, (Portland, Oregon)
John Akira Harrold is a multidisciplinary artist, educator, and organizer in Portland, Oregon and founder of Pur Dubois Press, an art publishing venture supported by commercial print and design work.

Daniela del Mar, (Portland, Oregon)
Daniela del Mar is a multicultural, latinx mutt. Raised in Nashville, Tennessee she trained as a painter desde muy chica. Before pursuing a degree en algo que le pareciera pretencioso, she hitchhiked across tres continentes in search of a time with no división entre la vida y el arte. Después de varios años de tramping, she finally settled in the lush Northwest to attend Lewis & Clark College donde se graduó with a BAS in Hispanoamerican Literature & Studio Art. With a still mostly inútil degree, she began apprenticing at a local book arts center to study bookbinding and letterpress printing. En 2013, co-fundó Letra Chueca Press, the only imprenta bilingüe en Portland that makes work for a Spanish-speaking culture that supersedes borders. Otros gustos de ella incluyen seeing the ocean at every oportunidad, napping with her two gatos negros, and starting pero infrequently finishing renovation proyectos en su casa en St. Johns.​

Leila Haile, (Portland, Oregon)
Leila Haile (they/them) is a multi-disciplinary artist practicing dance, tattooing, illustration, activism & community organizing. Focusing on Afro-centric imagery and Pan-African Liberation across mediums; they view art as their most effective tool for disrupting dominant oppressive hegemony. They currently work out of a private studio in Portland, Or and co-direct Ori Gallery serving Queer and Trans People of Color as well as folks living with disabilities while organizing with a coalition of groups around Portland and Nationally.

Camila Araya Pérez, (Portland, Oregon)
Camila Araya Pérez is a graphic designer, printer, and an Art / Spanish pre-school maestra from Chile. She came to Portland, Oregon searching for resources to empoderar her voz and decolonize lo que le enseñaron. Her creative practice takes form at the MFA Applied Craft + Design (PNCA + OCAC) where she founded su alma: la imprenta de tipografía móvil, a traditional method of printing. This ancient technique allowed her to reconnect with her manos, corazón, and voice in a process that has been invisibilized and devalued in a disposable, digitized culture. Letterpress lit la ruta for her to find a compañerx with same ideas and hilos to embroid a kind of home in Portland. In 2014 they began the journey of Letra Chueca Press, a womxn-run, latinx letterpress print shop keeping traditional methods of printing and bookbinding alive to make independent media for a Spanish-speaking community that supersedes borders.

Teresa Nguyen, (Portland, Oregon)
Teresa Nguyen is a non-binary first gen Viet-American community organizer and multi-media visual artist from Portland, OR. Much of their work centers in coalition building with queer youth and their QTBIPOC community, with an ongoing analysis for how to dismantle anti-blackness within Asian communities and learning how to navigate claiming a radical SE Asian identity. Their visual work explores the sensory experience of self love and care through cooking food and documenting it, making snapshot doodles of honest emotions right as they arrive, and storytelling to reclaim diaspora, among other mediums. They believe in the everyday practice of dismantling systems of oppression through tender acts of love: fueling the revolution with snacks, bad puns for anyone who will listen, a kitchen table to sit at and just be. When they’re not busy being a whirlwind they enjoy naps, juggling, long foggy hikes and dabbling in learning cool tech.

Maya Vivas, (Portland, Oregon)
Maya Vivas (b. 1990, Miami Fl) is co-owner of Ori Gallery (Redefining “the white cube” through amplifying the voices of Trans and Queer Artists of color, community organizing and mobilization through the arts.), and a ceramic sculptor whose work is rooted in the intersections of black, femme & queer identity/politics. Their ceramic sculptures have been featured in an array of galleries throughout Portland, Los Angeles and New Zealand, including venues in association with NCECA (The National Council on Education for the Ceramic Arts).

Palmarin Merges, (Beaverton, Oregon)
Palmarin Merges is an artist whose work draws from the desire to become more sustainable by reusing materials close at hand and by adapting restriction as a generative force for creation. Working primarily in mixed media, printmaking, and painting, she takes common materials formed from the fabric of her daily life and transforms them into new work. Hopefully descended from mighty Filipino headhunters and raised in Hawaii and California, she has also spent considerable time in Japan. Palmarin incorporates the rich visual language of her experiences with the inspiration of the natural beauty of her adopted home state of Oregon.

Carolina Pfister, (Portland, Oregon)
Carolina Pfister is a writer, media artist, nonprofit professional, and entrepreneur, interested in social justice, bioregionalism, and everyone’s right to a good life. She is crafting a portrait of her gentrifying neighborhood through a 2017 Regional Arts & Culture Council grant. Starting off as an art director in the ’90s for MTV Brasil, Carolina has worked with media in commercial and nonprofit organizations in both Brazil and the US. A dystopian/utopian story enthusiast and in-between-cultures mother of two, Carolina remains hopeful that an informed and caring populace can participate, build, and maintain a free and fair society. Hailing from the very large city of São Paulo, she is now making her home in a very small Columbia River Gorge town.

Nika Blasser, (Pendleton, Oregon)
Nika Blasser is an interdisciplinary artist who completed her master of fine arts in drawing and intermedia at the University of Alberta in 2013. She holds a bachelor’s degree in painting, drawing, and printmaking (2004) from Portland State University. Blasser works in a wide range of media including video, installation, drawing, painting, printmaking, and photography. Blasser’s practice explores the intersections between highly manipulated forms and organic genesis, often mixing synthetic and natural materials. She is particularly interested in ephemeral processes that slip between pure and adulterated states of nature in order to highlight the fragility of our environment. Blasser maintains an active studio practice and exhibition schedule.

Heather Sparks, (Portland, Oregon)
Heather Sparks is a conceptual artist whose work spans sculptural installation, video, drawing, and socially engaged projects in public spaces. Her work has been exhibited internationally and has been included in the Valencia Biennale; Observatori in Valencia, Spain; and the Lyon Biennale, in Lyon, France. Recent projects have been exhibited at Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco; Stanley Picker Gallery; Kingston College, UK; San Francisco Arts Commission Gallery; the Sotheby’s Institute, New York; and the National Atomic Testing Museum, Las Vegas. Her work has been reviewed and featured in Flash Art; World Sculpture News; and other publications. She has been a Kala artist in residence and is a Skowhegan alumna. Heather received a BFA from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1994 and an MFA from Stanford University in 2007.

Luann Algoso (Portland), mixed media
Demian DinéYazhi´ (Portland), mixed media
bart fitzgerald (Portland), mixed media
Zoe Keller (Portland), illustration
Susan Murrell (La Grande), painting
Sharita Towne* (Portland), mixed media
Patricia Vázquez Gómez (Portland), mixed media

Chris Cole* (Bend), painting and sculpture
Wynde Dyer* (Portland), mixed media
Anne Greenwood-Rioseco (Portland), mixed media
Alex Hirsch (Portland), painting and sculpture
Ryan Pierce (Portland), painting
Sharita Towne* (Portland), mixed media
MOsley WOtta* (Bend), painting

Kaila Farrell Smith (Portland), painting and sculpture
Bill Hoppe* (Bend), painting
Horatio Law (Portland), sculpture and installation
Aaron Lish* (Bend), sculpture and installation
Amanda Schoerer* (Portland), drawing, painting, and sculpture
Storm Tharp* (Portland), painting
John Whitten (Portland), photography and drawing

Baba Wagué Diakité* (Portland), ceramics and painting
James Florschutz* (Portland), sculpture
Eugenie Frerichs (Portland), photography
Carolyn Hopkins (Portland), sculpture and drawing
Jim Leisy (Portland), photography
Patti Martin Freeman* (Terrebonne), printmaking
Ben Rosenberg* (Portland), drawing and painting

Terry Gloeckler* (Bend), Drawing & Painting
Ryan LaBar* (Enterprise) Ceramics
Dana Lynn Louis* (Portland) Painting & Installation
Andy Myers* (Corvallis), Drawing
Whitney Nye* (Portland), Mixed Media

Rose Bond (Portland), film and installation
Vanessa Renwick, (Portland), Film, video and installation
Cynthia Lahti, (Portland), sculpture and drawing
Christine Bourdette, (Portland), painting and drawing
Midore Rose, (Portland), painting and installation

* Indicates artists who participated in Caldera’s Easts Meets West Curated Residency

Golden Spot Curated Residency: East Meets West

In addition to Caldera’s Artists in Residence Program that runs January–March, each year Caldera organizes East Meets West, a curated residency supported by Golden Spot. This special residency brings together artists from urban and rural areas of the state, mirroring Caldera’s Youth Program. This approach works to connect communities across Oregon and allows for the exchange of ideas, information, and expertise. Each residency grants Oregon visual artists with time, space, a supportive community, and stipend awards.

Annual Progressive Projects with Caldera’s Youth Program

All Golden Spot artists also participate in an annual Progressive Project that provides an opportunity for Caldera’s mentors and high school participants to collaborate with these professional artists on projects ranging from ceramic platters to wood sculptures. Working side-by-side offers a unique learning experience for youth and residents alike and exploring a new medium collaboratively requires trust, support, and risk for all involved. An individual artist’s creative process can be viewed as a dialogue between the artist and the work of art, and the works created in our Progressive Project series have the potential to spark powerful community conversations.

2016: Progressive Quiltmaking


Facilitated by AiR Wynde Dyer, Caldera Central Oregon high school students worked side-by-side with AiR to create a collaborative tarp quilt and individual tarp quilt blocks. Students and artists worked at Caldera over an afternoon cutting shapes and adhering them to a background tarp, layering different elements over others to make an eclectic quilt that was displayed in Sisters during the Sisters Quilt Festival.

2015: Progressive Painting Project

Progressive Painting Project

In 2015, Central Oregon high school students and AiR participated in a progressive painting project at Caldera. Each person had ten minutes to work on a panel and at the end of the ten minutes, everyone moved to the panel on their right. Each participant worked on every panel to create the final collaborative paintings.

2014: Progressive Sculpture Project

Progressive Sculpture Project

Teams of Central Oregon high school students and AiR worked together at Caldera to create individual sculptures that were then combined into a larger group sculpture. Students and artists together made decisions about how the individual sculptures were combined to create the final artwork.

2013: Progressive Platter Project

2013 Progressive Platter Project

The first in our progressive series, platters were thrown by AiR Ryan LaBar. In the Grand Room at our Arts Center’s Hearth Building, Central Oregon students and AiR decorated each platter by carving into them and painting them with glaze. Each person had a limited amount of time at a platter. When the time was up, people moved to the next platter and added to what was done by the person before them.

Pacific Northwest Artists in Residence Summit

PNW AIR Summit

On September 23-25, 2011, Caldera convened Northwest Artist in Residence Programs from Oregon and Washington at our Arts Center in an “NW AiR Summit.”  With the support of our first Golden Spot award, we brought together colleagues and examined ways we could collaborate. Attended by eleven Northwest Artists in Residence Programs and five funding representatives interested in the field of residency programs, participants shared successful ideas related to marketing, board development, evaluation, and AiR and program administration.

The Summit spawned a network of organizations we named the Cascadia Artist in Residence Network (CAiRN) , which continues communication and regular meetings to promote collaborations and share best practices.

Participating Residency Organizations
Caldera, Sisters, Oregon
Crow’s Shadow Institute of the Arts, Pendleton, Oregon
Disjecta Interdisciplinary Arts Center, Portland, Oregon
Fishtrap, Joseph, Oregon
Hedgebrook, Whidbey Island, Washington
Hypatia-in-the-Woods, Shelton, Washington
IslandWood, Bainbridge Island, Washington
Playa, Summer Lake, Oregon
Signal Fire, La Grande, Oregon
Sitka Center for Art and the Ecology, Otis, Oregon
The Spring Creek Project, Corvallis, Oregon

Participating Arts Supporters
Representatives from five supporting organizations joined us to introduce themselves and their funding foundations. This gave the participating AiR organizations the opportunity to explore how they could align their goals and missions with the goals and missions of these supporting organizations:

The Ford Family Foundation
Oregon Art Commission
The Oregon Community Foundation
Oregon Cultural Trust
Washington State Arts Commission

About The Ford Family Foundation

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.