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Oregon Arts Commission Awards 13 Artist Fellowships
Grants Recognize Excellence in Performing and Literary Arts
(SALEM, Ore.) - The Oregon Arts Commission announces 13 recipients of its 2011 Individual Fellowships, awarded to performers and writers of exceptional talent and demonstrated ability, professional achievement and continuing dedication to an artistic discipline. Peer-review panels of artists and arts professionals from across Oregon recommended the recipients to the Arts Commission.
Fellows may use the $3,000 award to complete work in progress or embark on a new body of work, undertake research, study or experiment with new materials or media.
Over 70 artists working in the literary and performing arts submitted applications for review. "The artists selected this year have proven themselves to be thoughtful, with outstanding talent and a commitment to the creation of new work. These artists are representative of the highest caliber that Oregon offers," commented Arts Commissioner Henry Sayre of Bend, who chaired the review panels.
Oregon's 2011 Artist Fellows are:
Allison Cobb, writer, Portland
Allison Cobb is a writer who explores the impact of science on the environment with carefully researched topics animated with personal narrative. She is currently working on a book, The Autobiography of Plastic, which builds on a paper she gave in 2009 at the Ecovergence in Portland. Her prior work includes a poetry collection, Born Two (Chax Press, 2004); and GREEN-WOOD (Factory School, 2010), literary non-fiction that chronicles her experiences in Brooklyn, New York's historic Green-Wood Cemetery, for which she received a New York Foundation for the Arts fellowship.
Michael D. Copperman, writer, Eugene
Michael Copperman teaches writing to low-income, at-risk students of color at the University of Oregon, where he received his MFA in fiction. He also has a BA in English with Creative Writing from Stanford University, where he was a Presidential Scholar. His nonfiction has appeared in numerous publications, including The Oxford American, Creative Nonfiction, Guernica andGOOD, among others. In his relatively short writing career, he has won numerous awards, including a 2009 Oregon Literary Fellowship from Literary Arts. His fiction has been published in Southword, The Arkansas Review, Thirdreader and 34th Parallel. His story, "Harm," was shortlisted for the Sean O'Faolain Prize from the Munster Literature Centre in Ireland.
Ben Darwish, jazz musician, Portland
Portland native Ben Darwish has been playing piano since the age of six. He also plays drums, guitar, and sings. At 18, Darwish studied for two years with Randy Porter, pianist for Charles McPherson and Madeline Eastman. As a jazz musician, he has played with many artists, including Kevin Mohagany, Rich Perry, Ron Miles, Devin Phillips, Esperanza Spalding and Alan Jones. He received a 2008 Downbeat award for Outstanding Big Band Performance. He was nominated for "Outstanding Achievement in Jazz" by the 2009 Portland Music Awards and released his second Trio album, "Ode To Consumerism" in February 2009.
Colin Erickson, writer, Portland
After Colin Erickson received his MFA from Warren Wilson College in North Carolina, he moved to Portland and strove to make a mark in Super 8 and 16 mm film. Noting that "writing has the charm of economy and the grace of easy access," he has shifted his creativity to writing and is currently working on a novella, Am I Never.
Jack Gable, composer/musician, Portland
Jack Gable has composed music for over 30 years and is known for his unpredictable mix of humor, theater, dance and electronics with lush chamber combinations. For the last 10 years, most of his output has been dance theater scores. While serving as Resident Composer and Technical Director to Agnieszka Laska Dancers, he composed THE FALL '01. Gable is currently working on a set of twelve abstract works, Diameters, each a three-minute duet for different instrumental pairings.
Robert Guitron, choreographer/dancer, Portland
Robert Guitron, a choreographer and dancer in the Portland area for over 30 years, established Polaris Dance Theatre in 2002. Guitron has danced, taught and choreographed for companies in the U.S., Canada, Italy and Japan. His work revolves around the human experience and reflects his multi-cultural upbringing. Aside from his repertory work for Polaris, his credits include operas, musicals, music videos and television commercials, including the choreography for the Portland Opera's recent production of Aida.
Angelle Hebert, choreographer/performer, Portland
Choreographer, movement artist and dance educator Angelle Hebert is the co-artistic director of tEEth, a contemporary performance company founded in 2006. Hebert is immersed in local performance, creating dances for PICA's tba festival and Portland Center Stage's JAW Festival, among others. Her latest tEEth project, Grub, premiered at On the Boards (Seattle) in February 2009, toured nationally to Joyce SoHo (NYC) in March 2009 and the Fuse Box Festival (Austin) in April 2009, and received a National Performance Network Creation Fund Award
Stephanie Lenox, poet, Salem
Lenox is a poet and editor who has received numerous nominations for the prestigious Pushcart Prize, and publication in a variety of publications including the Atlanta Review, Burnside Review, as well as inclusion in the 2006 anthology, Best New Poets. Her chapbook, The Heart that Lies Outside the Body, won the 2007 Slapering Hol Press Chapbook Competition. Lenox co-founded and edits Blood Orange Review, a quarterly online journal of literature and art, and is a visiting assistant professor at Willamette University.
Robert Hill Long, poet, Eugene
Robert Hill Long has been writing award-winning poetry for almost 40 years. His current work, The Kilim Dreaming, a collection of four narrative sonnet sequences, won the Dorothy Brunsman Prize from Bear Star Press (Cohasset. CA) for the best collection by a poet living west of the Great Plains. He is working on a book length collection titled Perpetua, currently circulating among publishers. Long has received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts (1988) and the North Carolina Arts Council (1986), and helped the National Writers' Union organize in North Carolina and western Massachusetts.
Margaret Malone, writer, Portland
Portland writer Margaret Malone's work has appeared in The Missouri Review, Swink, The Wordstock Ten Anthology, Rhapsoidia, Tablet, Too Much Coffee Man, on latimes.com, and elsewhere. She is a volunteer facilitator with Write Around Portland and a co-host of SHARE. She was awarded the Friends of the Lake Oswego Library William Stafford Fellowship from Literary Arts in January 2010. Malone participated in residencies at the Sitka Center for Art & Ecology as well as Soapstone this year, enabling her to work on a collection of short stories, People Like You.
Andrew Oliver, jazz composer and performer, Portland
Andrew Oliver is a pianist and composer who grew up playing classical piano and cello, before delving into the realm of improvised music while in high school, when he began studying with Portland pianist Randy Porter. He lived in New Orleans from 2002 until 2005, where he studied jazz at Loyola University and performed as both a bandleader and sideman. Evacuating from Hurricane Katrina in the summer of 2005, he returned to Portland and resumed his studies at Portland State University. Oliver organized the Portland Jazz Composers Ensemble, a 14-piece group dedicated to commissioning and performing works by Portland artists. His primary group, the Andrew Oliver Sextet, performs original creative music drawing on jazz, world music and rock influences, with albums released in 2008 and 2009.
Lisa Steinman, poet, Portland
Lisa Steinman is the Kenan Professor of English at Reed College. An accomplished poet who has been writing and publishing for over 30 years, Steinman helped found the Northwest chapter of PEN, and cofounded the poetry magazine Hubbub, now in its 27th year. Her book, Carslaw's Sequence (University of Tampa Press, 2003) was an Oregon Book Awards finalist. Steinman's Invitation to Poetry: The Pleasures of Studying Poetry and Poetics (Oxford: Blackwell, 2008) was selected by Choice as one of the year's "Outstanding Academic Books" in 2009. Her work has received recognition from the National Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
David Wolman, writer, Portland
David Wolman has been writing for over 10 years, first as a journalist and now a nonfiction writer. His latest book, to be published in October 2011, is The End of Money: From Cell Phones to Superdollars, a Globetrotting Search for the Future of Cash. As a contributing editor to Wired magazine, Wolman has won numerous awards for his science writing. He spent several years in Japan, first doing communications work in the late 1990's, then as a Fulbright journalism fellow in 2003, during which time he wrote about topics as varied as Russo-Japanese relations, bears, and snow science.
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