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JANUARY 25, 2013 PICA LAUNCHES THE PRECIPICE FUND, A NEW REGIONAL REGRANTING EFFORT

From the Portland Institute of Contemporary Art(PICA):
PICA is proud to announce The Precipice Fund, a major new granting initiative for Portland-based unincorporated visual art collectives, alternative spaces, and collaborative projects. Formed with the support of the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, The Precipice Fund expands Warhol’s Regional Regranting Program to the Northwest, creating new channels of support for “vibrant, under-the-radar artistic activity.” Rachel Bers, Program Director for the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts, explains that, “by partnering with leading cultural institutions in communities across the country, the program allows the [Warhol] Foundation to reach the population of informal artist collectives and to support their alternative gathering spaces, publications, websites, events, and other projects.”

Through The Precipice Fund, PICA hopes to award between 15 and 20 small grants, ranging from $500 to $5,000, for a total of $75,000 annually. The Warhol Foundation has made the award for two years of re-granting programs, with the potential for continued commitment; the longest running regional re-granting program (at San Francisco’s Southern Exposure) has been in operation since 2007.

With the founding of Precipice, PICA joins four established re-granting funds in San Francisco (Southern Exposure); Kansas City, MO (Charlotte Street Foundation and Spencer Museum of Art); Chicago (Threewalls and Gallery 400); and Houston (Diverse Works, Aurora Picture Show, and Project Row Houses). Portland is a natural location for the re-granting program to expand; as PICA’s Visual Art Curator Kristan Kennedy describes the local scene, “Artist-run organizations, initiatives, and projects don’t only fill the gaps in our art ecosystem, they ARE our ecosystem.” Bers observes that, “Portland is home to a thriving self-organized art scene and PICA has a deep understanding of and commitment to the artists that live and work there. The foundation is looking forward to working with PICA to support experimental and ambitious projects in the region.”

“Now is the right time for PICA to take on this role in the local community,” remarks PICA Artistic Director Angela Mattox. “With our recent move to a new space and an expanded artistic presence outside of the TBA Festival, we’re exploring how we can be even more generative of artistic ideas. Precipice will be a valuable complement to our other channels of support.” According to Kennedy, this new fund will, “allow PICA to formalize support for these vital projects and to ensure that they remain where they want to be: on the edge of the city, on the edge of practice, on the edge of an institutional structure.”

The Precipice Fund will deliver support to unincorporated visual artist groups, informal organizations, and initiatives based in Portland, Oregon, who are presenting new work in informal, but significant ways. Recipients must have a public presence, intersect with diverse audiences, and contribute to the vitality of contemporary art practice. Grantees will be selected by a panel of their peers, comprised of curators and artists from within and outside of the region. Precipice will run independently of PICA’s own visual art programming: PICA staff will not influence the granting decisions, and award recipients must present their funded projects outside of PICA. Full application details and granting guidelines will be available April 1, with the first round of awards being determined in Fall 2013. Further announcements are forthcoming as the program is fully implemented. Interested individuals can sign up for newsletter updates at PICA.ORG.

This major investment in Portland artists comes directly on the heels of the Warhol Foundation’s award of $150,000 over two years to support PICA’s cross-disciplinary visual art programming, furthering a history of support for PICA’s mission in the region.

About The Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts
Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was established in 1987 for the advancement of the visual arts. The Foundation's objective is to foster innovative artistic expression and the creative process by encouraging and supporting cultural organizations that in turn, directly or indirectly, support artists and their work. The Foundation values the contribution these organizations make to artists and audiences and to society as a whole by supporting, exhibiting and interpreting a broad spectrum of contemporary artistic practice. 

About Portland Institute for Contemporary Art (PICA)
Portland Institute for Contemporary Art acknowledges and advances new developments in contemporary art, fostering the explorations of artists and audiences. Since 1995, PICA has championed the practice of contemporary artists from around the world, driving vital conversations about the art and issues of today. PICA presents artists from visual and performance backgrounds and embraces those individuals who exist at the borders of genres and ideas. Through artist residencies and exhibitions, lectures and workshops, and the annual Time-Based Art Festival, PICA constructs a broad platform for contemporary art. 

About The Precipice Fund
The Precipice Fund provides critical support for artist-driven organizations, projects, initiatives, and publications that exist on the edge of new practice. These projects operate outside of traditional forms of support, galvanize communities, promote critical dialogue, and encourage generative and expansive artistic process while driving culture forward regionally and nationally. These often informal, anti-institutional, serious, intentionally nebulous, and innovative projects are an integral part of Portland’s vital art ecology and are emulative of the pioneering spirit of the Pacific Northwest.

For more on the Foundation's Regional Regranting Program, click here.