The CRCI Artist Residency consists of weekly meetings held in Classroom 4 at the Columbia River Correctional Institution. The prison is a minimum security release facility located within the Portland city limits near the Columbia River. The program focuses on a range of topics related primarily to collaboration, conceptual art, and socially engaged art.
The CRCI-AR was conceived as a way to redefine the public perception of what is possible inside of prisons by offering a creative outlet and support for currently incarcerated artists to make work and develop their artistic practices. Rather than simply learning to draw or paint, CRCI-AR offers a rigorous and expansive set of programming similar to what you might find in artist residencies around the world: studio time, a visiting artist lecture series, workshops and seminars, an art library, collaborative projects, critiques, and professional development.
Resident Artists have the opportunity to engage in collaborative, co-authored Special Projects that range from small, one day activities to sprawling year-long undertakings. Past and current projects include a board game based on prisoners experiences while incarcerated, an exchange between prisoners and international photographers, a cable access variety show, and regular public exhibitions at Erickson Gallery.
The Artist Residency focuses on the framing, context, and conceptual foundation for art, rather than a specific medium such as painting or sculpture. During class each week, residents are able to present work, solicit feedback, host conversations, and generally use the group as a sounding board for ideas.