The Oregon Arts Commission has elected Julie Vigeland of Portland as commission chair and Henry Sayre of Bend as vice chair.
Julie Vigeland has wide ranging volunteer experience with arts and cultural nonprofits as well as foundations. She is a member of the Giving in Oregon Council, Oregon's think tank on philanthropy and giving. She has been a member of the board of Portland Center Stage since 1995, serving as chair for five years and chairing the Capital Campaign for the Gerding Theater at the Armory. Vigeland is one of three trustees of the Jackson Foundation and a trustee of the Wessinger Foundation. She is the immediate past chair of the Portland Parks Board. Her past board service in the Portland area also includes the Regional Arts & Culture Council, Oregon Symphony Foundation, Friends of the Portland Center for Performing Arts, Portland Youth Philharmonic, and Oregon College of Art & Craft. She is a past president of Grantmakers of Oregon and SW Washington. Vigeland is a graduate of Portland State University where she also did her post graduate work. Prior to becoming active as a volunteer in the arts community, Vigeland taught high school English in Gresham.
"The health, viability, and sustainability of the arts in Oregon are vital to all Oregonians. The important work of the Oregon Arts Commission is carried out through grants, policy development, and programs that offer a myriad of opportunities to our arts non-profits. It is an honor to be a part of this work that can enliven Oregon communities, light up a child's face at the discovery of art, and via policy development, help to ensure the strength of the arts into the future," said Vigeland.
Henry Sayre has been a Distinguished Professor of Art History at Oregon State University ? Cascades Campus since 2001 and from 1983 through 2001 he taught art history at Oregon State University in Corvallis. Sayre is a prolific writer who has written about almost every aspect of the arts. His textbook, A World of Art, now in its seventh edition, is one of the most widely used art appreciation texts in the country. His children's book, Cave Paintings to Picasso, won the Eloise Jarvis McGraw Award for Children's Literature at the 2005 Oregon Book Awards. In addition to his writing and teaching, Henry Sayre has served both the arts and education communities. He has juried art exhibitions across the state, from Joseph to Condon to Newport. Sayre received a B.A. with Honors and Distinction in the Humanities from Stanford University and a Ph.D. from the University of Washington.
"One of the great pleasures of working with the Oregon Arts Commission is having the opportunity to constantly see what's happening across the state," Sayre says. "I am constantly amazed at the vitality of our painters, sculptors, writers and performing artists, and how much they are contributing to the cultural health of our communities."
The Oregon Arts Commission provides leadership, funding and arts programs through its grants, special initiatives and services. Nine Commissioners, appointed by the Governor, determine arts needs and establish policies for public support of the arts. The Arts Commission became part of the Oregon Business Development Department in 1993, in recognition of the expanding role the arts play in the broader social, economic and educational arenas of Oregon communities. In 2003, the Oregon legislature moved the operations of the Oregon Cultural Trust to the Arts Commission, streamlining operations and making use of the Commission's expertise in grantmaking, arts and cultural information and community cultural development.
The Arts Commission is supported with general funds appropriated by the Oregon legislature, federal funds from the National Endowment for the Arts and funds from the Oregon Cultural Trust.