For Release: April 21, 2005
The Bonnie Bronson Fellowship Committee is pleased to announce that Paul Sutinen has been named as the 2005 Fellow. There will be a public reception to honor him and to present him with the award on Monday, May 9th, 2005 at Reed College, Gray Lounge, Kaul auditorium from 5 to 7 p.m.
Paul Sutinen has been an active Portland artist for more than 30 years — a very active artist. He has had 22 solo exhibitions in Portland. He co-founded two of the city's best noncommercial exhibition spaces. He has had over 200 articles published as an art critic. He has been an art consultant or design team member for numerous civic projects. He has taught at Marylhurst University for over 25 years, where he is now Co-Chair of the Art Department and Director of Art Programs. He chaired the Exhibition Committee of the Portland Center for the Visual Arts when it was one of the most respected contemporary art venues in the country. Primarily a sculptor, he has also worked significantly in photography, drawing and performance art. In her book Contemporary Art in the Northwest, Lois Allan observes that Sutinen is "a conceptual artist whose ideas take form through whatever medium or technique is most appropriate."
The Marylhurst Art Gym, co-founded by Sutinen, Kay Slusarenko and Terri Hopkins in 1980, has an impressive 25-year track record as the most important and ambitious venue for contemporary art from the Pacific Northwest. The Nine Gallery was also co-founded by Sutinen, along with eight other Portland artists, as a "co-op gallery for artists who never expect to sell anything." The Nine Gallery has been very successful over its 18-year history, both in putting on exciting cutting-edge shows and in not selling much of anything.
Paul Sutinen's public art piece "In the Shadow of the Elm" (in the Park Blocks between the Art Museum and PSU) is one of the treasures of Portland. Simultaneously subtle and magnificent, it is a stone shadow of a great elm tree that is no longer there. Other public art projects to which Sutinen has contributed include the Master Action Plan for the Visual and Cultural Reclamation of Lincoln City, Westside Light Rail, the Gresham City Hall and the Oregon Holocaust Memorial.
As an art critic, Sutinen has written for publications from Los Angeles, New York, Oakland, Chicago, Portland and Vancouver, B.C. He was the art critic for Willamette Week from 1974 to 1983 and he was co-editor and co-publisher of an art zine, Prologue, 25 years ago.
The Bonnie Bronson Fellowship was established to advance and encourage intellectual and creative growth in honor of the late sculptor Bonnie Bronson. Recognized artists have made important contributions to the community and a major commitment to the arts in the Pacific Northwest. Past recipients have been Christine Bourdette, Judy Cooke, Adriene Cruz, Fernanda D'Agostino, Kristy Edmunds, Judy Hill, Ann Hughes, Malia Jensen, Carolyn King, Helen Lessick, Ronna Neuenschwander, Lucinda Parker and Christopher Rauschenberg.