Samantha Wall Wins Top Honor at Contemporary Northwest Art Awards
Congratulations to Samantha Wall, MFA VS '11 for taking the Arlene Schnitzer Prize at the Portland Art Museum's Contemporary Northwest Art Awards
Samantha Wall, who earned her MFA in Visual Studies at Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA) was honored with the top $10,000 Arlene Schnitzer prize selected by the Museum’s curatorial staff at the Portland Art Museum’s 2016 Contemporary Northwest Art Awards (CNAA). She was chosen from among the eight artists included in the Museum’s fourth biennial awards exhibition.
This is not the first such recognition Wall’s work has received. When she graduated with her MFA in 2011, she was given the MFA Grant Award from the Joan Mitchell Foundation. And the Foundation has continued to support her work with residencies at the Joan Mitchell Center in New Orleans in 2013 and 2016. The Ford Family Foundation named her a Hallie Ford Fellow in 2015, and Wall was nominated for the Brink Award from Seattle’s Henry Art Gallery and was a CNAA nominee in 2012 as well.
Wall makes drawings in graphite and charcoal and sometimes ink that can be of imposing scale. Her drawings feature portraits of women and touch on questions of identity and emotions around identity, particularly for women of mixed ethnicities. Recently Wall made a series of prints with Matthew Letzelter through Watershed, PNCA’s professional print publishing program, and she’ll further explore prints at Crow’s Shadow in Pendleton, which awarded her a Golden Spot Residency. Wall is represented by venerable Portland gallery, Laura Russo Gallery.
For the CNAA’s, Bonnie Laing-Malcolmson, The Arlene and Harold Schnitzer Curator of Northwest Art at the Portland Art Museum, and invited curatorial advisor Jessica Hunter-Larsen, curator of IDEA Space, Interdisciplinary Experimental Arts, at Colorado College, culled through 200 nominations “from respected regional arts professionals of outstanding contemporary artists from Idaho, Montana, Oregon, Washington, and Wyoming. Nominees were selected on the basis of quality, innovation, relevance to community or global issues, continuity of vision and dedication to studio practice.”