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Former PICA Curator Tapped To Run Portland Art Series


A curator well-known in Portland’s arts scene has been tapped to steer CONVERGE45, a city-wide series of high-end contemporary art events in 2016.

Well-known Portland curator Kristy Edmunds will steer CONVERGE45, a city-wide series of high-end contemporary art events in 2016.

Well-known Portland curator Kristy Edmunds will steer CONVERGE45, a city-wide series of high-end contemporary art events in 2016.

April Baer/OPB

Kristy Edmunds founded and ran Portland Institute for Contemporary Art, also known as PICA, from 1995 to 2005. She left to direct the Melbourne International Arts Festival in Australia, but got a warm welcome home at a major donor event Thursday.

“We needed a special curator,” said CONVERGE45 co-founder Elizabeth Leach, who runs an eponymous gallery in Portland’s Pearl District. She pointed to Edmunds’ work consulting with at New York Park Avenue Armory and more recent gig directing the Center for the Art of Performance at the University of California, Los Angeles.

Edmunds will be responsible for working with large and small institutions on CONVERGE45 events that will take place July 31 through Aug. 3 in 2016. She also plans to raise Portland’s profile among top-flight collectors and curators.

Edmunds said she would ask participating artists and groups to produce work around the theme, with “You In Mind.” Edmunds said she wants to encourage artists to explore things made without regard to sales or web hits or name recognition. She invoked work produced in Portland before the art scene took off.

“Right now, what Portland does and what Portland has offered … matters immensely … because almost everything that we can imagine, someone is trying to extract wealth from,” she said.

Nike signed on as a sponsor of the event. Plans are also in the works for Year Two, which Leach says will be held at sites across Oregon’s wine country. Curator Cris Moss, who directs the University Oregon’s White Box space, was tapped as the curator for the 2017 CONVERGE45 events.

Portland

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