See for Yourself: the work of Carmen Papalia

Carmen Papalia makes participatory projects that investigate individual access with regard to public space, the Art institution and visual culture. He produces temporary solutions in the form of walking tours, workshops, public interventions, museum projects and art objects. His work engages participants in embracing disability experience as a productive way of being.The Blind Field Shuttle, a non-visual walking tour in which Papalia leads up to 50 participants through urban and rural spaces, has been shown at the Canter Fitzgerald Gallery at Haverford College, at Pro Arts in Oakland and at Gallery Gachet in Vancouver. Papalia was recently awarded a solo exhibition for emerging artists by the CUE Foundation in NYC. His upcoming projects include programming at the Purple Thistle Center and a performance at the Grand Central Art Center in which he will map a walking route with the help of a marching band.

Join us on Friday, November 30 for a talk in which Carmen Papalia, MFA candidate in Art & Social Practice at PSU, will share his approach in creating solidarity around the goals of the Disability political movement through the production of participatory socially-engaged Art.

See for Yourself
Friday, November 30, 2012
Project Grow (2124 N. Williams Ave.)
6:00PM – 8:00PM

Bad at Sports interviews from Open Engagement 2012

Bad at Sports has started posting their interviews from Open Engagement.

Check it out:

Paul Ramirez Intensive

This past week, adjunct faculty member and artist in residence at the Portland Art Museum, Paul Ramirez Jonas, came to Portland to lead us in a three day intensive.

The purpose of the intensive was to collectively develop a curatorial statement for Shine a Light 2013, an annual collaboration between the Portland Art Museum and the PSU Art and Social Practice MFA program. Every year for Shine a Light, MFA students host a collection of projects that enable museum goers to engage with the art and the museum itself in unconventional ways.   

The intensive was structured around ideas of the museum as site-specific, time-specific, and people-specific.  

We read a number of articles from a variety of thinkers including Tom Finkelpearl, Miwon Kwon, Claire Bishop, and Jurgen Habermas.  We also read sections of Disenchanted Night a book by Wolfgang Schivelbusch that chronicles the effects of artificial light on our relationship to the night.  

Perhaps the highlight of the intensive was an excursion in which a dozen of us explored the city on foot and bicycle ‘observing the night’.  We split up and met back at the museum and compared notes until about 11.30 pm. 

SAVE THE DATE: Sine a Light Friday, May 17th, 2013.

Expo Chicago



From September 19-23, 2012 the Hyde Park Art Center will host Jen Delos Reyes and the Center for Art and Social Practice at Expo Chicago where they will present, “Selling It.” The Center for Art and Social Practice is directed by Jen Delos Reyes and was developed out of PSU’s Art and Social Practice MFA program. “Selling It” is an extension of and precursor to the Center for Art and Social Practice the Center which Delos Reyes will bring to the Hyde Park Art Center the summer of 2013. “Selling It” provides representation for artists who have created socially engaged work from across the country at the fair exploring of the place and role of socially engaged art in a market system.

Who and what is represented and how if the work is not primarily by nature object based? How can these practices be financially viable? Are there alternate funding sources to support this kind of work that can come from the market system? How are artists, participants and collaborators compensated, or not?

The Center for Art and Social Practice addresses the need for the support of research, consulting, presentations/interventions, and public programming within the field of art and social practice. The Center is dedicated to the idea that artists can develop and utilize their own artistic skills to engage in society and their own communities, as well as hold the mission of serving as a hub that fosters dialogues between artists and institutions invested in this way of working.

Represented artists and projects included at Expo:

Harrell Fletcher

Lee Walton

Lori Gordon

Ariana Jacob

Crystal Baxley

Songs on Conceptual Art

Art, jokes, and social engagement in Mexico

original article on PSU Institute for Sustainable Solutions blog:

This March, I was able to attend a three-week residency at the Guapamacátaro Center for Art and Ecology in Mexico with a travel grant from the Institute for Sustainable Solutions. The Guapamacátaro residency is centered in an old hacienda, a few kilometers away from the town of Maravatío, Michoacán. It is organized by Mexican artist and curator Alicia Marván.

The participants of the session were primarily artists who had interests and experience in other disciplines (such as agriculture and education), and who had specific concerns with the intersection of art, the environment, and the local community. Days at Guapamacátaro were structured organically, allowing for work to develop within the confines of the hacienda, or to interface with the surrounding community.

“Se vende chistes/Se compra chistes” Dillon de Give explored the culture of Michoacán, Mexico by asking locals to tell him a joke.

Agricultural production forms the basis of the local economy. Surrounding land is rich in natural resources, and is famous for producing avocados. Because of this, issues of land ownership, land usage/management, water rights, and the legacy of the power relationships left over from the hacienda system are ever-present. However, the larger political system in place is not often responsive to the subtleties of these issues.

Such systematic problems were discussed at length among the group. However, the focus of my work occurred on a smaller, more intimate scale. It began with a recognition of my incomplete knowledge of Spanish and a desire to understand more. I considered the idea that humor is perhaps the subtlest expression of a language. With this, I decided to go on a series of long walking trips. Along the way, I simply asked people if they would tell me a chiste,  a joke. Though I rarely “got it” these interactions served as a way to get a sense of the local temperament and to share in a moment I might not have otherwise participated in. I filmed people telling their jokes, and will use the footage as the basis of a new work.

Michoacán school children participating in an after school program with artists from Guapamacátaro.

In addition to this project, I was able to contribute to several collaborative projects that emerged from the cohort, including an after school activity group with students from a local elementary school, and the establishment of a vegetable garden, complete with a fence made from tulé (a locally invasive water plant). At the end of the residency, the community was invited to an opening in which the results of our work were displayed and discussed. About 25 people from the surrounding area came, some of who brought their children.

The residency allowed me to make professional contacts with people who share my concerns regarding art, the environment, and social engagement. I was also able to use the experience as a case study to examine how art can function in a context radically different from my own, and to develop the seeds for investigation into an artistic theme I will continue to explore.

P. Dillon de Give is a New York City based artist. He will soon hold an MFA in Art and Social Practice from Portland State University. You can see some of the jokes that Dillon collected at


Baseball and Art: OC’s two great passions

Posted by  on Thursday, June 28, 2012 · Leave a Comment 

Artist, Adam Moser at GCAC

The Cut-Off Men

Santa Ana, CA.  Downtown Santa Ana Artist’s Village gets a kick in the contemporary art butt with newest creative addition, Grand Central Art Center’s (GCAC) new Director and Chief Curator, John Spiak. Spiak is a whirlwind of creative energies, and his expertise in Relational Aesthetics and Social Practice are giving the Artist’s Village a transformative new take on the art scene in Orange County. Spiak is bringing in artists from all over the world, to engage and exchange with the Orange County art community. The Artist’s Village in Santa Ana is known for it’s trendy cafes and shops, and it’s heavy artistic flux and flow with galleries and artists around every turn. The caliber of art has been fluctuating between pop-surrealistic paintings and street-art inspired graffiti work for the most part. Spiak’s new twist in programming at the flagship institution of the Artist’s Village, Grand Central Art Center is broadening the community’s artistic point of view, and shedding some well-deserved light on this great art hub.

Grand Central Art Center’s latest Artist-in-Residence, Adam Moser hit it “out of the park” with a collaborative art piece that involved Major League Baseball. Sports don’t traditionally go hand in hand with fine art, but it would seem that Orange County welcomes baseball lovers into the local art scene. (let’s just hope he’s an Angels man). This social practice artist from Portland is realizing his lifelong dream of playing in the big leagues with the help of GCAC, and invited the public to try out with him on his 9-member tryout team, the Cut-Off Men. Moser was the latest addition to the artist-in-residence program at GCAC, but unlike some of the other artists that have come and gone, Moser involves humor, passion, community-oriented teamwork, and the weirdest part–sports into his art practice.

Moser spent many weeks preparing his try out team, and then actually traveling to the try outs in Compton with his Cut-Off Men. The team did not make the league, but the event was spectacular to witness and discuss with artist, Moser and Curator, Spiak. During some reflection time after the tryouts, Adam explained the workings of Social Practice to visitors, the relationships between the teammates and artist, the relationships between the world of baseball and the world of art. This kind of art makes us ask ourselves, “how does this project relate to the workings of Social Practice?”, “What are the relationships between the teammates and artist?”, “Are there really relationships between the world of baseball and the world of art?” It is clear to this writer that asking questions like that is kind-of the point when it comes to this kind of work, and it is this kind of work that is so refreshing to see and experience in the OC. Relevant, insightful, and community-driven artwork. A documentary film was made and screened at GCAC to commemorate the residence and experience.

Moser’s Cut-Off Men at MLB Tryouts

Grand Central Art Center

125 N. Broadway   Santa Ana, CA. 92701




Art students build indoor greywater system at Field Work

With a grant from the 2012 Solutions Generator, a group of students led by PSU Art and Social Practice graduate Katherine Ball built an indoor greywater system for Field Work, a community classroom and art space that is collectively run by masters students in Art and Social Practice at PSU. For the last two years, the sink at Field Work has not functioned properly and empties into a bucket that is poured down the toilet when full. The student’s solution uses mushrooms to filter the wastewater and plants to transpire the water into the air. While most greywater systems pipe water into outdoor landscaping, this building required an innovative indoor solution. You can read their plans to build your own indoor greywater system (pdf).


Call For Submissions to The Social Practice Workbook: DEADLINE EXTENDED

Call for Submissions
to The Social Practice Workbook

The Social Practice Workbook—Call for submissions

Deadline—May 23

The Social Practice Workbook is currently seeking submissions for a publication of ideas for working within the fields of social practice and education.

We are particularly interested in project-based lesson plans, exercises, prompts, and hands-on assignments.

The publication will be launched as part of Art and Social Practice Reference Points, a book series published by Publication Studio and edited by Jen Delos Reyes.  The ongoing series explores relevant themes, key figures, and applications in relation to the production of socially engaged art.  The first release from this series will include books on Temporary Services, Harrell Fletcher, Christine Hill, and The Social Practice Workbook.

Submissions to The Social Practice Workbook can be in written or visual form.  Feel free to pitch multiple assignments.  Send full-draft submissions to by May 23.

Please include the following information in your submission.
Title of exercise:
Submitted by:
Assignment description: 500 words or less.

All images must be at least 300dpi.
All images will be printed in black and white.
Please deliver images via email in a zipped folder, clearly labeled.

Upcoming: Edgar Arceneaux MFA Workshop February 21, 2012

Edgar Arceneaux the director of The Watts House Project in Los Angeles will lead a workshop with the Art and Social Practice MFA students on financing in relationship to mission driven art initiatives, framing the discussion as “New Financial Architectures for Creative Communities.” As part of the workshop he will be looking at organizations in relationship to the individual soul. He will be pre-sending an audio file to the students that is an analysis of Plato’s Republic. The dialogues within the various districts of Plato’s virtual city were metaphors for understanding the human soul. Arceneaux’s will attempt to organize the social body in relationship to the understanding of the forces that rule the individual body.

Field Trip Diary: Center For Land Use Interpretation and the Bureau for Land Management

Matthew Coolidge from the Center for Land Use Interpretation was recently in town for a lecture as part of our Monday Night Lecture Series. The following day he organized a field trip for the SP MFA program to Willamette Stone State Park to visit the marker that commemorates the initial point for Oregon and Washington. We were met by a representative from the Bureau for Land Management that shared the history of the site with us, antique land surveying equipment and techniques, and taught us about the rectangular survey system.

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