The Art + Social Practice Archive was founded and organized in 2018 by Shoshana Gugenheim Kedem, Roshani Thakore, Lo Moran and Harrell Fletcher, with the help of Cristine Paschild, Head of Special Collections and University Archives, and Marti Clemmons, our Archives Technician, in honor of the PSU Art and Social Practice MFA program’s 10 year anniversary. Located in the Portland State University Library Special Collections, the Art and Social Practice Archive is the first public archive dedicated to socially engaged art ephemera. The Archive houses both physical and digital materials including posters, publications, flyers, zines, videos, sketches and other project documentation from past and ongoing artist projects. Lo Moran and Marti Clemmons continue to develop the project with the assistance of many student collaborators including BB Andersson, Bri Graw, Caryn Aasness, Olivia DelGandio, Rebecca Copper, Jake Barber, Emily Pappas and Eniko Banyasz.
Our growing collection documents social, collaborative and community based artwork coming from artists connected to the PSU Art and Social Practice MFA program and local, national and international artist projects. Our approach to growing the Archive reflects our intention to collect stories of socially engaged artworks from all over the world while organizing programming and projects connected to the Archive that support opportunities for engagement with students, artists, researchers and publics.
The original accession of the archive focused on work related to artists who have graduated, taught in, or who are currently students in the PSU Art and Social Practice MFA program. In 2020 the Archive built and launched its digital component on PDXScholar. Accessible online globally, it includes digitized publications and digital submissions by invited artists. View the most recent finding aid with a list of artists and projects in the physical archive here.
If you have any questions or are interested in submitting materials to the archive, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make an appointment to visit the Art and Social Practice Archive at the Portland State University Library reach out to our email and PSU Library Special Collections (email@example.com).
Follow the Art and Social Practice Archive @artandsocialpracticearchive.
A few past and recent highlights of the project include:
Loose Body was an exhibition of materials from the Art and Social Practice Archive on display in the first floor of the Portland State University Library. The exhibition was curated by Marti Clemmons, B.B. Andersson and Lo Moran and ran from January 3 through June 15, 2022.
The digital arm of the Art and Social Practice Archive was launched in 2020 and is slowly growing as we add new materials from local, national and international artist projects. The launch was marked in June 2020 with a published interview and a panel discussion between Marti Clemmons, Lo Moran, Lexa Walsh and Rebecca Copper about the importance and complexities of archiving socially engaged art. Flyer by Emily Pappas.
In a special pop-up installation at the Multnomah County Central Library for Assembly 2018, we displayed the inaugural archive collection and and activate selected pieces of project ephemera by sharing excerpts aloud. There was a special emphasis on projects relating to civic engagement. A box of prompts for future Archive development were contributed by participants. Photos by Emily Fitzgerald.
Dispatch from the ASPA:
The 2022-23 archive research assistants Olivia DelGandio and Caryn Aasness are sorting through and archiving work from the personal collection of artist Jen Delos-Reyes. Delos-Reyes generously submitted boxes of ephemera from her own projects and collaborations as well as projects from other artists that she has collected. Jen is a former co-director of the PSU Art and Social Practice program and created the artist led initiative Open Engagement. The collection includes documentation that reminds us how expansive social practice as a field can be, and how social projects can be marked in time by balloons, tote bags, saltine crackers, and lots of zines!