CORVALLIS, Ore. – Art About Agriculture, an annual exhibition of agriculture-themed artwork by Oregon State University’s College of Agricultural Sciences, is holding an open call for artists to participate in the 2020 exhibition.

The theme for the 2020 exhibition and tour is “Tension/Harmony.” Artists from the Pacific Northwest are invited to explore the future of agriculture through consideration of the relationship between the conservation of natural resources and agricultural production.

This year’s show will be a competitive, juried exhibit for the first time since 2009. The deadline for submissions is June 27; the show is slated to open Sept. 3 at Oregon State University in Corvallis.

“It has been my goal to reintroduce the open call, juried component of this show since I took over as directing curator of this amazing collection,” said Owen Premore, who has led the program since October 2018. “This format allows for equal opportunity and will hopefully inspire more artists to consider food and fiber production as an expressive subject.” 

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 based on portraying agriculture and natural resources and presents the permanent collection and touring exhibits across the state.

The permanent collection contains 371 works of art by 229 artists. Works are exhibited on the OSU campus in Corvallis and by loan agreement throughout Oregon and other parts of the Northwest.

“This year’s exhibition and tour provides an opportunity for a multitude of perspectives and self-expression, which the exhibit’s jurors and I hope will lead to a broad diversity of ideas,” Premore said.

While the exhibition’s theme was developed prior to the recent COVID-19 outbreak, the theme now holds added meaning as many are seeking balance between various causes of tension and new perspectives on harmony, he said.

“From these trials of our previous norms, we are rediscovering the essence of our humanity and what moves us,” Premore said. “Our brilliance and resilience is only limited by our imagination. Our hope is this return to the juried, open call format will encourage individuals to share their visions of our future agricultural necessity with empathy and endurance in mind.”

Jurors for the exhibition are: artist and educator Sally Cleveland, a former associate professor of painting and drawing at Pacific Northwest College of Art; Patrick Collier, an artist and writer whose art criticism is published by Oregon ArtsWatch; Dan Edge, associate dean for faculty affairs and professor of wildlife ecology in the College of Agricultural Sciences at OSU; Steve Grafe, a curator, writer and Oregon State alumnus who has held numerous leadership roles in the arts; and Joan Truckenbrod, an artist and director and curator of the Truckenbrod Gallery in Corvallis.

Artists selected for the exhibit will be eligible for several acquisition awards including a People’s Choice Award. The People’s Choice winner will be added to Art About Agriculture’s permanent collection.

The “Tension/Harmony” exhibit is scheduled to open this fall in the Giustina Gallery in the LaSells Stewart Center on the OSU campus in Corvallis. The exhibit is also scheduled for display at Portland’5 Centers for the Arts in November and December.

For more information on the exhibit and details for submitting entries, visit the Art About Agriculture website.  The deadline for submission is June 27.

College of Agricultural Sciences

About the OSU College of Agricultural Sciences: Through its world-class research on agriculture and food systems, natural resource management, rural economic development and human health, the College provides solutions to Oregon’s most pressing challenges and contributes to a sustainable environment and a prosperous future for Oregonians.

Story By: 

Michelle Klampe, 541-737-0784, [email protected]


Owen Premore, [email protected]

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