Call for Proposals

Newspace Center for Photography and the Oregon Historical Society are supporting and presenting in 2017 an image-based project exploring Oregon’s unique histories and identity.

Deadline: Monday, November 7, 2016, 6pm


Newspace and the Oregon Historical Society Research Library (OHS) are partnering to offer a low residency and exhibition opportunity in support of one image-based project that critically examines issues pertinent to Oregon, with a specific focus on collective histories, identity formation, and the politics of place.
The project will connect historic imagery with contemporary culture, demonstrating the ways in which collective and personal identities in Oregon have been shaped by photography and other media. In accordance with our belief that image-based exhibitions and public programs can function as a unique platform for an open and honest discussion we will fund one proposal for a joint low residency at Newspace and OHS to develop a project that will culminate with a seven-week exhibition at Newspace in October and November 2017. The final project must employ, at least in part, image-based practices. In addition the residency will support multiple public programs to take place in at least four Oregon locations, including Portland.

We encourage a broad interpretation of the use and integration of images across media, and creative risk-taking in the development of the project. We welcome proposals from both individuals and collaborators. Artists from outside the Portland Metro area are encouraged to apply.

The OHS Research Library will serve as a primary resource for the project’s development, with its five million photographs and vast collection of films, manuscripts, books, and oral histories. The selected artist(s) will receive dedicated funds to travel to Portland for three, 1-week visits to conduct research in the archives (if residing outside of Portland) between January 2017 and October 2017. This research will support the creation and presentation of new work that connects historical materials with contemporary culture, demonstrating the ways in which collective and personal identities in Oregon have been shaped by this particular region. Approved additional travel within Oregon for research and in support of project development will be covered by project funds.

The project will culminate with an exhibition at Newspace, public program at OHS and Newspace, and a public program that will travel to several Oregon cities in conjunction with the exhibition.

PLEASE NOTE: While developing your proposal, we urge (but not require) that you consider some of the following questions:

  • How are identities informed by place and vice versa, how is a place shaped by the people who inhabit it?
  • How and where is Oregon’s history apparent in the present day?
  • What role do archives play in teaching us about the past and, in turn, complicating our understanding of the present?



  • The selected project will receive an unrestricted artist fee of $5,000.
  • Travel and lodging expenses for three research trips during the residency, and for exhibition-related programs.
  • The selected artist(s) will receive a production budget to cover all research expenses, exhibition materials, and public program costs.
  • Newspace will provide access to its facilities in Southeast Portland (equipped with a darkroom, digital lab, and lighting studio), terms to be determined according to resident’s needs and facilities’ availability.
  • OHS will provide access to its collections during the course of the project’s development (to be scheduled following project selection). If you have questions regarding the materials available at OHS as you prepare your proposal, email
  • The artist and/or collaborators will work regularly with Newspace’s Curator and OHS’s Archivist to develop the exhibition and programming components of the project.


One artist or group of collaborators will be selected based on a clear plan to utilize OHS’s collections; a vested interest in exploring ideas pertinent to Oregon with a focus on the politics of place and identity; familiarity with basic research practices; and experience and merit working with image-based media. The proposals will be reviewed in fall 2016 by a selection panel and final decisions will be announced in December 2016.


Proposal deadline: Monday, November 7, 6pm

Phone/in-person interviews with finalists: Late November / Early December 2016

Selection announced: Mid-December 2016

Project development: January 2017 – September 2017

Exhibition and public programming: October – November 2017

Traveling programming: Late fall 2017 – early 2018

* We reserve the right to alter the schedule


  • Applicants must reside in Oregon at the time of application and project duration.
  • Projects must incorporate at least in part materials from the OHS collections.
  • The project must be primarily image-based (photography, archival materials, photo-books, etc.). We encourage wide-ranging and hybrid uses of images across media.
  • Availability for a short phone or in-person interview in late fall 2016.
  • Ability to commit to an exhibition and programming in fall 2017.
  • Research experience preferred, but not required. OHS can provide training.
  • Project lead must be at least 21 or older.


If you are applying as a collective, submit only one application. Please read the directions carefully – incomplete or erroneous applications will not be considered.

The following documents must be emailed to by November 7, 6pm:


  • Project Description – PDF format

The description should be 750-1,000 words and address the following:

-Explain your investment in issues of the politics of space, identity formation, and/or collective histories, and its relation to the state of Oregon. For example, you may address lived experiences, historical interests, ongoing observations, concerns, etc.

-Explain your interest in the application of historical materials in contemporary contexts.

-Describe the project you propose developing as part of this residency and how you will utilize the access to OHS collections. Be as specific as possible (contact Matthew Cowan at for questions about OHS holdings).

-Describe how you may incorporate image-based practices into your final exhibition at Newspace in fall 2017.

-Describe 2-3 public programs you may incorporate into the project during the course of the exhibition.

-Describe a related public program that can travel to different locations in Oregon (you do not need to specify locations). This can take various forms: talk, panel, performance, experimental formats, etc.

-Identify any additional organizations and/or community groups you might collaborate with in your project.


  • Budget Outline: We will provide a significant production budget in addition to a $5,000 artist fee and separate research travel funds. Please submit a description of how you would use the production budget to develop the project. Be as specific as you can, though we understand that as the project evolves funds may be reallocated. – PDF format


  • Bio (up to 150 words) – PDF format


  • Curriculum Vitae (two pages or less) – PDF format (if submitting as collaborators, you may include separate CVs for each member)


  • Work Sample List: Submit an image list corresponding to the jpg files. Include title, year, dimensions, location (where applicable). Include any URLs for video links or audio files in this list.


  • Work Samples: 5-10 images of prior work, or sketches/works related to proposed project. Works must have been completed within the past three years. Images must be JPEG files, 72dpi, 1MB max per image; each titled LastName_FirstName1.jpg (i.e. Doe_John1.jpg, Doe_John2.jpg, etc.). Links to videos and audio files will also be considered (up to 3 minutes long). Include the links in the Work Sample List. Slide show links will not be considered.


Please collate all PDF documents into a single document. Jpgs can be submitted separately.


For questions, email No phone calls please.

To download this Call for Proposals click here (PDF).



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