OSU’s Art About Ag, 2021 Exhibition

On Friday, June 4, Giustina Gallery at LaSells Stewart Center at Oregon State University will open its 38th annual exhibition of visual art inspired by and promoting growing food, fiber crops, and natural resources. 

In the words of Owen Premore, Directing Curator of the Art About Agriculture program: “The 55 pieces the jury settled on beautifully encapsulates the spirit and breadth of Northwest agriculture, as well as a wide variety of styles and mediums.  It was an absolute joy to curate the jury’s selections. Oregon State’s Art About Agriculture Annual Competition has a legacy of striving for equal opportunity.”  

With the legacy of striving for equal opportunity the show had no submission fees and the artwork for the exhibit was selected by “blind jury” a process with undisclosed names of the artists. 

“Since Agriculture encapsulates a huge variety of food and fiber production topics that often go unrecognized as ag-related, we often guide artists towards an underlying theme of particular interest to OSU at the moment,” Premore told The Advocate. “In 2020, the underlying theme was the future of agriculture.  In developing this year’s underlying theme, we decided to focus on inclusivity; encouraging all artists inspired by agriculture in the creation of their art to submit to the open call.  The theme for 2021 is simply art about agriculture.  We received an incredible 341 submissions of art from 105 artists.” 

The Program’s Mission  

 “Art About Agriculture is a program in the College of Agricultural Sciences, Oregon State University, that encourages artists to investigate agriculture and natural resources themes for creating their works of art. It strives to develop an understanding and appreciation of food and fiber among Oregon’s diverse audiences,” explained Premore. “Art About Agriculture was established in 1983 as the region’s first annual agricultural-themed arts competition and touring exhibit. It recognizes professional and emerging Northwest artists, creates a growing, dynamic, permanent collection of fine art inspired by and often portraying agriculture and natural resources, and presents the permanent collection and touring exhibits across the state.” 

Over the years, acquisitions from the shows have formed a permanent collection.  

Permore said, “Art About Agriculture permanent collection acquisitions are sponsored by the College of Agricultural Sciences. This collection of 376 works of art by 229 artists (as of November 2020) is exhibited at OSU campuses, and by loan agreement throughout Oregon and other parts of the Northwest.” 

This year the Program endowments will fund the purchase of seven additional pieces. On the opening day, the exhibit will appear at the website of the Gallery with annotations about purchase awards. Following the opening day, in-person Gallery hours will be Wednesdays and Thursdays, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. or by appointment.  

The link to the virtual exhibit will go live on opening day –– June 4. 

This travelling exhibit will next be presented at Parrish Gallery, Chehalem Cultural Center in Newberg on August 3 – September 30. 

By Joanna Rosińska