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Tannaz Farsi Named Bonnie Bronson Fellow

Tannaz Farsi, Blink, 2016, LED bulbs, steel, wire, 216 x 3 x 14 inches. Installed at YOU IN MIND, Converge 45, 2017, Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland, Oregon.  Artistic Director Kristy Edmunds. Curator Meagan Atiyeh.


The Bonnie Bronson Fund has announced Tannaz Farsi as its twenty-eighth annual Bonnie Bronson Fellow.

Since its inception in 1992, the Bronson Fund—named after the late American painter and sculptor Bonnie Bronson—has annually awarded a no-strings-attached cash prize (this year’s prize is $10,000) to an artist of outstanding merit who lives and works in the Pacific Northwest. In addition, the Bronson Fund purchases artwork by each new Fellow, adding it to the Bronson Collection. The collection is on long-term loan to Reed College, where it is exhibited throughout the campus and curated by the Director of the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Stephanie Snyder.

Tannaz Farsi lives in Eugene, Oregon, where she has taught at the University of Oregon since 2008 and is currently an associate professor in the School of Art and Design. Farsi was born in Tehran and relocated to the United States in 1985 during the Iran-Iraq War. Her work employs many materials and techniques, language, and technology, to create spaces that address social and political circumstances, in particular experiences of diaspora and displacement.

Tannaz Farsi writes that she draws “from materials and forms that are easily recognizable and range from items such as fluorescents bulbs, my Gmail account or live plants, using our familiarity with these objects, spaces or things to allow for multiplicity in meaning to develop through arrangement, organization and form. The work is project based and my strategies are steeped in the history of sculpture, installation and conceptual art practices, allowing me to use a range of mediums to produce objects, photographs and prints. I am interested in the friction that is instigated within the mixing of these conventions – whether it is an aesthetic structure that illuminates a political condition or an attempt to bring an irrational idea or an idea that does not have definitive form into a physical structure.” She continues that her most recent projects “have undertaken a more direct political address and yet still engage materials as a connective language. The construction and availability of power, its role in nationalistic agendas and systems of visibility, whether economic or politically motivated, are at the core of my interests and my practice attempts to materialize these conditions through a spatial encounter with the artwork. This is instigated through a row of blinking lights with a frenzy of wires or witnessing the life cycle of plants. In each of these instances, the work changes with time and is subject to conditions outside of the maker or the viewer.”

Tannaz Farsi, Satellite , 2017, acrylic, ink, steel, 48 x 5 x 72 inches
Farsi was recognized as a 2016 Oregon Arts Commission Fellow. Her work has been exhibited at venues throughout the United States, including SFAC, (San Francisco, CA) Portland Institute of Contemporary Art, (Portland, Oregon), Disjecta (Portland, OR), Pitzer Art Galleries (Claremont, CA), Tacoma Art Museum (Tacoma, WA), the Urban Institute of Contemporary Art (Grand Rapids, MI), Delaware Center for Contemporary Art (Wilmington, DE), and Sculpture Center (Cleveland, OH.) She has been granted residencies at Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Ucross Foundation, the McDowell Colony, Studios at Mass MOCA, Santa Fe Art Institute, and the Rauschenberg Residency. Her work has been supported through grants and awards from the Oregon Arts Commission, National Endowment for the Arts, University of Oregon and The Ford Family Foundation where she was named a Hallie Ford Fellow in 2014. Born in Iran, Tannaz Farsi lives and works in Eugene, Oregon. Farsi earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the West Virginia University and a Masters of Fine Arts in Ceramics from Ohio University. Currently, she is faculty at the University of Oregon and the Director of Graduate Studies in Art.

The Bonnie Bronson Fund was established in 1991 under the aegis of the Oregon Community Foundation to award an annual fellowship to an artist living and working in the Pacific Northwest. The fund was inspired by the memory of Oregon artist Bonnie Bronson who died in a climbing accident in August of 1990. Bonnie’s art works included enamel on steel sculpture, welded and painted steel collages, painting and carpet design, and were considered a powerful force in the Pacific Northwest art community in her lifetime.

Since 1992, the Bonnie Bronson Fund has selected twenty-six fellows through a confidential nomination process. The guiding principles are to advance and encourage creative and intellectual growth in a working artist of the Pacific Northwest region, specifically Oregon and Washington. The award is a cash prize and purchase of a work of art for the Bonnie Bronson Collection, which is housed at Reed College and displayed prominently throughout campus. Artists may not apply for this award and the new Fellow is informed with a simple phone call. Past recipients include: Christine Bourdette, Judy Cooke, Ronna Neuenschwander, Fernanda D’Agostino, Carolyn King, Lucinda Parker, Judy Hill, Adriene Cruz, Helen Lessick, Ann Hughes, Malia Jensen, Christopher Rauschenberg, Kristy Edmunds, Paul Sutinen, Bill Will, Laura Ross-Paul, MK Guth, Marie Watt, David Eckard, Nan Curtis, Pat Boas, Wynne Greenwood, Vanessa Renwick, Cynthia Lahti, Lynne Woods Turner, and Susie Lee.

Family and friends established the Bonnie Bronson Fund in her memory in 1991 as a special interest fund under the aegis of the Oregon Community Foundation. The purpose of the fund was to publish a catalog documenting Bronson’s work and life, and to award an annual fellowship. Publication of the catalog coincided with the Bronson retrospective exhibition mounted by the Portland Art Museum in 1993.


The Bonnie Bronson Fellows

1992   Christine Bourdette

1993   Judy Cooke

1994   Ronna Neuenschwander

1995   Fernanda D’Agostino

1996   Carolyn King

1997   Lucinda Parker

1998   Judy Hill

1999  Adriene Cruz

2000  Helen Lessick

2001  Ann Hughes

2002  Malia Jensen

2003  Christopher Rauschenberg

2004  Kristy Edmunds

2005  Paul Sutinen

2006  Bill Will

2007  Laura Ross-Paul

2008  MK Guth

2009  Marie Watt

2010  David Eckard

2011  Nan Curtis

2012  Pat Boas

2013  Wynne Greenwood

2014  Vanessa Renwick

2015  Cynthia Lahti

2016 Lynne Woods Turner

2017 Susie Lee

2018 Kristan Kennedy

2019 Tannaz Farsi