Assembly 2018: Projects





We are coming together (again) and it can change as we go along…

There is a German proverb saying ‘‘Man soll die Feste feiern, wie sie fallen,’’ which translates into something like ‘‘One should celebrate the parties as they come.’’ I understand this as a reminder that regardless of what is happening in the larger picture, there are certain moments in life that you just have to celebrate at the time they happen.

Assembly feels like a celebration to me each year. For the PSU Art and Social Practice MFA program, Assembly is the celebration of the end of the program year, for some of us even the end of their entire time in the program. For those of you who have experienced Assembly before, it might be a celebration of reconnec- tion. For those of you who are new to all this, welcome: we are excited you are here! Assembly is a time for seeing old friends, making new friends, being together, letting yourself be surprised, thinking about all the different ways in which art can be activated, living the moment, and experiencing something that may feel both familiar and new each year.

This year is a special year for us because there are even more reasons to celebrate: Assembly is going into its 5th year and our program celebrates its 10 year anniversary! As required by a celebration like this, there will be a lot of pop up, blow up, speaking up, and other uplifting things happening. Alumni of the program will be particularly present and we are happy to announce the launching of our 10 year anniversary book still hot from the printer!

Nevertheless, we are also committed to asking some serious and current questions. We have had a lot of discussions this year on the topics of civics, civic engagement and what it means to be a citizen. Accordingly, Assembly will take place at Portland civic institutions: City Hall, the City Library, the Native American Student and Community Center, as well as other locations at PSU and the Park Blocks. You will find our long-term engagement with Columbia River Correctional Institution, Martin Luther King Jr. School, the Hollywood Senior Center and Portland Tropical Gardens at Directors Park represented in our programming this year.

As every year, there will have been a lot of organizing, negotiating, running around, last minute freak outs and short nights leading up to Assembly on our end. Until the last minute it feels a little messy and unclear what it is going to be like. And then it happens and it all magically falls into place. Assembly has always felt like one of the happiest moments to me, because it reminds me of so many things that make our program unique and special.

While thinking about ways we can make our projects fun and meaningful for everyone involved, we question power systems we encounter constantly through our work. We bring together our various backgrounds, experiences and skills to cross pollinate, work together, figure things out collectively and show up for each other in support. We also goof around, go on fun trips, sing karaoke, dance like bosses or invent weird sport exercises as our first morning activity (ever saw a group crawling, sideways skipping or jumping across the street? That likely was us!)

The program changes as we go along with whoever is part of the group. We shape our own education and self organize as much as possible. In many ways we function like a collective, a family, or a long term collaborative project. Never have I experienced that type of community as an art student before. I am glad that I came all the way from Germany to be part of this amazingly talented, courageous and inspiring group of people.

Part of our work is to bring what we learn in our small group into other groups in the community. We are basically spreading the news. I hope you can get a sense of it as a participant in our events. Because we think of you. This year might have been hard for you. Politically speaking it has been rough for many of us. But we should celebrate the parties as they come. So no matter where you are at, please come and celebrate with us, by thinking, talking, listening, moving around, participating, creating, sharing ideas, eating, or just being present.

—Anke Schüttler


Adam Carlin, Amy Subach, Anke Schüttler, Anupam Singh, Ariana Jacob, Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr., Beck Anders Jacobsen, CRCI Artist Residency Program, Emma Colburn, Eric John Olson, Gerald Scrutchions, Martin Luther King Jr. School 7th grade social studies class, Humberto Marquez Mendez, Jessica Cerullo, Janan Stoll, Kaitlyn McKenzie Nelson, Kimberly Sutherland, Lauren Moran, Lisa Bates, Mark Menjivar, Martha Gies, Molly Sherman, Patricia Vasquez-Gomez, Richard Lundquist, Riley Zahara Jacobsen, Roshani Thakore, Roya Amirsoleymani, Roz Crews, SAMP Laptop Ensemble, Samuel Wildman, Shoshana Gugenheim Kedem, Spencer Byrne-Seres, Susan F. Wilk, Tia Kramer, Xi Jie Ng (Salty), Yaelle Amir, Zeph Fishlyn

Special thanks to the Platt Family.


Friday, June 1

Location: Portland City Hall 1221 SW 4th Ave


Spectate or Speculate! Hosted by the Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs

with Zeph Fishlyn and Eric John Olson

Are you worried about rent being too damn high? Do you want to secure your financial future? Do you want to get your slice

of the pie, or do you want to watch from the sidelines? In today’s overheated real estate market, The Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs brings you a fun new way to get in on the speculation spectacle! Why deal with the headaches of being a landlord when you can invest in housing the high-tech modern way—from far far away? Join us in a special edition of Spectate or Speculate! and let’s speculate our future away!


City of Portland Special Projects: 1-800-Dial-an-Old-Friend

with Eric John Olson, Samuel Wildman, and participants from the Hollywood Senior Center

As with many cities in the United States, Portland suffers from age- segregated urban planning, leaving younger generations socially isolated from the elderly and their wealth of experiences. In response to this issue we are presenting a special project for the City of Portland, 1-800-Dial-an-Old-Friend: a public hotline that connects wayward youth, aimless millennials, and mid-life crisis-ers to our city’s wisest citizens.


Remnants of Color Blue: Short term display

Artist talk and panel discussion with Richard Lundquist, Anupam Singh, Martha Gies, and Janan Stoll

A short durational display of artworks by artist Richard Lundquist. The exhibition will address the issues of civic rights of felons. The art works will be a visual documentation of the artist’s life post incarceration.


Difference is a Field

with Lauren Moran

Over the past few months, I have been exploring situations of personal and political difference through conversations, workshops, moments of aggressive vulnerability and a rigorous examination of my own values and assumptions. Have you ever had a meaningful experience with someone you deeply disagree with? Is it possible to have generative dialogue with communities of different values and ideologies? What are new formats for these conversations? How can we take care of ourselves and each other while challenging ourselves to make connections based on difference? We will continue exploring these questions together at City Hall in a participatory event around these topics and ideas.


Exchange Endowments

with Adam Carlin and Kimberly Sutherland

Endowments are donations in perpetuity designated to a specific part of an organization as decided upon by a donor. For Exchange Endowments, Kim Sutherland and Adam Carlin are endowing funding for a once-a-year lunch conversation between a government employee at Portland City Hall, and a local artist.


Citizen | 100

Shoshana Gugenheim Kedem, Gerald Scrutchions and his 7th grade Social Studies class at the MLK Jr. School: ZamZam Abdi, Mycah Alemseghed, Ibett Apolonio-Carrasco, Rasheed Butler, Mackenzie Chambers, Pablito Diego Gomez, Cecilia Felipe-Miguel, Laysha Garcia Sanchez, Theysha Gordon Lee, Hinda Ibrahim, Jaliyah Jennings, Charle Morgan Siegfried, Malik Nash, Paul Makayla, Marjorie Prado-Madrigal, Lamar Stewart, Jamell Thompson, Besa Watiyo, Ja’kyia Weeks, London White, and Jordan Rosenblum

CITIZEN | 100 is a critical examination of citizenship in today’s world. Who is a citizen? What is the nature of citizenship today? Who and how does the public or the nation decide what it means to be a citizen? 7th grade students from the Martin Luther King Jr. school will facilitate a public dialogue on these and other questions as pertains to citizenship in today’s political and social arena. CITIZEN | 100 is the result of participatory, arts-based research conducted by the students as part of their year-end project in civics at the King School.


The City Seal of Portland, Oregon

Xi Jie Ng (Salty)

In 1878, a committee picked a Mr. C. A. Bjourkman’s design to be that of the Portland city seal. In today’s City Hall atrium lies a podium emblazoned with our seal. In this session we will each design a new city seal based on what we think represents Portland today. From all the designs, including those by incarcerated individuals at the Columbia River Correctional Institution and kids at Martin Luther King, Jr. School, a vote and ceremony (featuring the figure of Portlandia performed by Emma Colburn) will take place to pick today’s updated Portland City Seal, and the result will be officially proposed to City Hall.


Pluralist Practices in Portland | Prácticas Pluralistas en Portland | Thuc tiên da nguyên o Portland

Roshani Thakore, Yaelle Amir, Patricia Vasquez- Gomez, Roya Amirsoleymani, Ariana Jacob, Lisa Bates, and Humberto Marquez Mendez

Art + Activist movements are shaping Portland’s cultural landscape and the city itself. Considering the U.S. Department of Arts and Culture’s Statement of Values, panelists will discuss how their work in art, funding, programming, urban planning, and education is adding to the cultural pluralism in Portland and what tactics are needed next.


Forgiveness Meditation

with Amy Subach, assisted by Kaitlyn McKenzie Nelson, and Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr.

Forgiveness is release. We need forgiveness to move on, to build, to create. Let’s practice forgiveness together. Let’s let go. Let’s forgive so we can start. What in your world needs forgiveness? What can you release? Let’s start small and grant grace to each other. Let’s forgive ourselves. One on one forgiveness sessions will be offered on Sunday, email to see the schedule and make an appointment.


Ceding & Creating Space

with Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr. and Kaitlyn McKenzie Nelson, assisted by Amy Subach

One of the dictionary definitions for the word civic is ‘‘relating to the duties or activities of people in relation to their town, city, or local area.’’ This means that the interactions between individuals within a community are civically engaged by nature. In the spirit of a civically engaged creative practice Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr. is ceding space to other artists and assisting to create new work led by the invited artists to be exhibited in place of their own. While there are no claims of inequitable access to the Portland State University Art and Social Practice program, the social systems we all navigate are stratified with barriers that create inequitable access to opportunity. In this work, Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr. shows that anyone with privilege can cede and create space to generate opportunities for others.


KSMoCA Opening Reception Byron Kim: Sunday Paintings

Location: King School Museum of Contemporary Art (KSMoCA),

4906 NE 6th Ave, Portland, OR 97211

Byron Kim makes a small painting of the sky every Sunday. On the surface of these paintings, he writes a journal entry, just a few thoughts, a description of the weather or just something about his life or his family and friends. He has been doing this since January 9, 2001, so there are over 800 of these paintings, but this exhibition at KSMoCA includes just the recent ones. His exhibition includes a selection of these paintings as well as paintings he will produce in collaboration with two students from each grade at MLK Jr. School.

Saturday, June 2

Location: Multnomah County Central Library 801 SW 10th Ave.


In Step

with Tia Kramer and Shoshana Gugenheim Kedem

In Step is a meditation in walking as civic engagement. Informed by the practices of Rebecca Solnit and Ernesto Pujol, this walk, choreographed with one gesture, will transport us from the North Steel Bridge to The Multnomah County Central Library. Together we will depart at 11:30am from the green space on the corner of NE Oregon Street and NE Interstate Avenue. Public transit and parking information can be found on the website ( Wear comfortable walking shoes and layers. We will walk 1.5 miles; all ages and abilities welcome.

The corner of NE Oregon and NE Interstate is just one block South of the Rose Quarter Max station. We encourage participants to arrive via public transit; there is also a 24hour UPARK 1/2 a block North on Interstate Way.  


Art & Social Practice Special Collections

Lauren Moran, Shoshana Gugenheim Kedem, and Roshani Thakore

We are forming the first public archive of ephemera related to art and social practice, organized in honor of the programs 10 year anniversary, and housed in the Portland State University Library Special Collections. We have begun to build the collection with project materials from works connected to program collaborations, current students and alumni to celebrate all the work that has been built from the program itself, and are excited to grow the archive, with materials from socially engaged art projects all over the world. It is the hope that this archive will be useful for public research, dialogue and education around socially engaged art. In a special pop-up installation for Assembly, we plan to display and activate selected pieces of project ephemera that have been submitted to the collection so far, with a special emphasis on projects relating to civic engagement.


Porous Wonder

with Xi Jie Ng (Salty)

Delving into the profound wonder and magic in children’s literature, you are invited to explore language around these elements in our lives. Tapping into the subconscious and childhood memories, we will meditate on how these can support creative practices. All ages and backgrounds welcome, materials will be provided.


Correspondence Course

Anke Schüttler, Roshani Thakore, Spencer Byrne-Seres, and members of the CRCI Artist-in-Residence Program

Over the past year and a half, students from the PSU Art and Social Practice Program have been working to create an Artist-in-Residence program for prisoners at Columbia River Correctional Institution, a minimum security prison within the Portland city limits. “Correspondence Course” is a syllabus for a course developed by artists in the Residency to be shared with a larger audience, and to invite the public to participate in a series of assignments authored by prisoners.

More information about the residency can be found at


It Can Change As We Go Along

Organized by Roz Crews, Mark Menjivar, and Molly Sherman

Location: Shattuck Hall Annex at Portland State University

To celebrate the tenth anniversary of the Art and Social Practice MFA Program at Portland State University, we will re-create the format of the original PSU Monday Night Lecture Series by offering a free dinner inspired by the meals Lexa Walsh used to organize and create as a student in the program and as part of the series.

Afterwards, join us for a free, public lecture featuring eleven students (current and former) representing each cohort of the program as they discuss their experiences with this unique MFA program. During this public, one-hour event, alumni and current students will have a question-based discussion about their experience with the program via a video chat which will be projected for the audience. Molly Sherman, Roz Crews, and Mark Menjivar will moderate the conversation as well as the Q&A to follow. At this event, we will also release It Can Change As We Go Along, the ten year anniversary book commemorating everything that’s happened as part of the program so far.



Suki’s, 2401 SW 4th Ave, Portland, OR 97201

Wind down the day and up the evening with us at Suki’s Karaoke. Singing encouraged but not mandatory!

Sunday, June 3

Location: Native American Student and Community Center 710 SW Jackson St.


Speaking, Speaker.

with Jessica Cerullo, Tia Kramer, and Anke Schüttler and artists in the CRCI Artist in Residency Program as well as incarcerated participants from Walla Walla, Washington

If you knew you would be heard, what would you say in a moment of bravery? Who would you want to listen? What prevents you from speaking? What are the consequences of silence? Where could you find courage? And how would you begin?For the last two months we have been asking people who are incarcerated to answer these questions. Join us as we explore their responses and our own relationship to our voice. Together, we will warm up our voices in preparation to answer these questions for ourselves and use them to give voice to others who do not feel they have the power to speak. We will serve as amplifiers and witnesses. Our experiences will be collected, recorded and shared.


Collaborative Mapmaking

with Emma Colburn

During this workshop we will create collaborative drawings of Portland, translating them into entities that can communicate with the Cartesian grid. Together we will generate navigational interfaces to reflect our collective experiences, counterposing top-down orientating systems common to the contemporary internet user.



Lunch: Real Food, Faux Truck, Food Truck

with Riley Zahara Jacobsen and Beck Anders Jacobsen, assisted by Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr.

Real Food, Faux Truck, Food Truck is a pop up street food experience brought to life through an intergenerational collaboration. *Come Hungry* *Bring Ca$h*

Ceding & Creating Space

with Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr., assisted by Riley Zahara Jacobsen and, Beck Anders Jacobsen

One of the dictionary definitions for the word civic is ‘‘relating to the duties or activities of people in relation to their town, city, or local area.’’ This means that the interactions between individuals within a community are civically engaged by nature. In the spirit of a civically engaged creative practice Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr. is ceding space to other artists and assisting to create new work led by the invited artists to be exhibited in place of their own. While there are no claims of inequitable access to the Portland State University Art and Social Practice program, the social systems we all navigate are stratified with barriers that create inequitable access to opportunity. In this work, Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr. shows that anyone with privilege can cede and create space to generate opportunities for others.

SoFA Journal Blow Up Launch Party

with Eric John Olson, Spencer Byrne-Seres, and Kimberly Sutherland

The PSU Social Practice Journal is a bi-annual publication dedicated to supporting, documenting, and contextualizing socially engaged art and its related fields and disciplines. Each issue of the Journal focuses on a different theme in order to take a deep look at the ways in which artists are engaging with communities, institutions, and the public. Our first issue, on the theme of Civics, will be presented as a blow-up launch at Assembly and offer a small mobile reading lounge for people to enjoy the inaugural issue.

Forgiveness Pop Up meditation (one on ones)

with Amy Subach, assisted by Kaitlyn McKenzie Nelson and, Artist Michael Bernard Stevenson Jr.

Artist Amy Subach will create and hold an intimate one on one space to talk about and practice forgiveness.

Email to see the schedule and make an appointment.

The Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs is ready to serve you

with Zeph Fishlyn and Portland Tenants United

Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler won office in spring 2016 promising the creation of an Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs to educate landlords and tenants, clarify rights and responsibilities, and mediate disputes. While details are being discussed in committee, we thought, why wait? This mobile, citizen-led Office of Landlord-Tenant Affairs is ready to serve!


SAMPling Tropics

SAMP Laptop Ensemble, directed by Burke Jam (in collaboration with Emma Colburn)

A site-specific musical performance to explore the acoustic ecology of Portland Tropical Gardens, improvised live by members of SAMP: Laptop Ensemble at Portland State University.


Portland Tropical Gardens Closing Party

Location: Director Park, 815 SW Park Ave, Portland, OR 97205

Come celebrate with the PTG family as we reflect on our past few months at Director Park! Tropical snacks and refreshments aplenty. For programming details keep in touch with us on instagram @portlandtropicalgardens. Portland Tropical Gardens is an artist-run space that envisions Portland’s first public indoor tropical garden. At PTG, you will find different types of plants that thrive in the dynamic and vast region of the tropics. PTG serves as a hub to educate the pubic about tropical plant-life and also hosts regular programming related to tropical culture and life. PTG is also host to the Center for Art & Public Wellness, centered on the intersection between creative expression and holistic well-being. PTG is co-founded by members of the Portland State University School of Art + Design community. This project is made possible thanks to the support of the PSU School of Art + Design and Portland Parks & Recreation.



Illustrations by Erika Dedini