Making our Mark: PCC Art Student Exhibition 23/24

PCC Galleries

Exhibition title

Collage of images of student work from the student art show.

Collage of artwork (left to right, top to bottom): Claudia McNellis, “Not a Collage”, 2023, acrylic on paper, 11×14”; Grace Pendergrass, “Succulent”, 2023, glazed ceramic body, 2x 5.5 x 1-1.75”; Mehdi Gassi, “The Thinking”, 2024, screenprint and gold leaves on paper, 12×12”; Adriel Maneely, “Something Witchy”, 2023, alcohol marker, ink, and colored pencil on paper, 18×24.5”; Alicia Seale, “Self Help”, 2024, silkscreen 10×12”; JoJo Ruby, “Salted Butt”, 2024, acrylic on canvas, 24×36”; Fatimah Hobaish, “Vimto”, 2023, ceramic, 5x2x2.5”; Goldie Goldberg, “Lloyd Center”, 2023, digital photography, 14”x20”; Kymberleigh Olivas, “His Smile”, 2024, acrylic paint on canvas board, 16”x20”.

Making Our Mark

Recent artwork by Portland Community College Students
  • Exhibition locations & dates:
  • Awards reception and conversations with jurors
    • Paragon Gallery – May 29, 4-7 pm
    • Helzer Gallery – May 30, 5-7 pm
    • North View Gallery – June 8, 12-2 pm

The Portland Community College Art Galleries are pleased to present our 4th Annual District-Wide Art Student Exhibition — Making Our Mark: PCC Art Student Exhibition 23|24. This year students who took art classes at all four of our college campuses, at our centers and in our remote classrooms were invited to submit their art and participate in our collective exploration of what it means to make your mark.

Students were asked to select a PCC gallery, then each gallery worked with a juror, who chose the student work to be displayed in that gallery. Guest juror Michelle Ross, selected art for the Helzer Gallery, Sarah Farahat selected art for the Paragon Gallery and Taravat Talepasand selected art for the North View Gallery. Each gallery will also host a reception featuring a conversation with their juror and awards announcements.

Making Our Mark provides a platform for reflecting on what it means to make a mark, in graphite, in clay, in oil, in metal, in pixels and all of the other materials PCC students employ. By bringing the varied marks we make into dialogue with each other, Making Our Mark, also considers the impact PCC art students can have through the art they make and the way they show up to support each other. To honor all students who made art in PCC art classes this year, our 4th annual college-wide Art Student Exhibition invites us to celebrate the diversity of voices that have come together to make their marks.

This year you can visit the exhibition in-person at three of our PCC art galleries then join us for one or all of the awards receptions and conversations with our jurors on Wednesday, May 29 at 4pm with Sarah Farahat in the Paragon Gallery, Thursday, May 30 at 5pm with Michelle Ross in the Helzer Gallery and Saturday, June 8 at 12:00 pm with Taravat Talepasand in the North View Gallery.

About the guest jurors

Helzer Gallery | Bio for Michelle Ross

Michelle Ross is an Associate Professor and Interim Department Head of Painting at Willamette University’s Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). Her formal and abstract painting, as well as digital collages, have been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions both nationally and internationally, including the Institute of Contemporary Art Boston (Boston, Massachusetts), The Art Gym at Marylhurst University (Marylhurst, OR), Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR) and Rome International University (Rome, Italy). Her work resides in several collections, including the Portland Art Museum (Portland, OR), Rhode Island School of Design Special Collections (Providence, RI) and the Four Seasons Hotel (Abu Dhabi, UAE), among others. In 2012, Ross was named as a Hallie Ford Fellow in the Visual Arts. She is represented by Elizabeth Leach Gallery in Portland, Oregon.

Paragon Gallery | Bio for Sarah Farahat

Sarah Farahat is a transdisciplinary Egyptian American* cultural worker, abolitionist, and educator dreaming of a more collective future for all beings. She holds a B.A. in Psychology from Occidental College, a B.F.A. in Intermedia Studies from PNCA and an M.F.A. from California College of the Arts. She trained in auricular acupuncture at the historic Lincoln Recovery Center in the Bronx and on the coattails of the Arab “spring” she participated in Beirut’s Homeworkspace program. She teaches art at local colleges, for kids in her community, is a member of the Justseeds Artists’ Cooperative and co-founder of the SWANA Rose Culture and Community Center. For the past sixteen years Farahat has monitored the body within the socio-political landscape in the US and abroad-intervening with works exploring grief, connection, assimilation, storytelling and engagement. Participating in grassroots struggles inform her work. She finds joy in reading speculative fiction, talking with plants, cooking, and dj-ing. 

Her work lives in protests, archives, public and digital spaces and is in the permanent collections of the Arab American National Museum, JustSeeds Collective, the Charles Voorhies Library, The Palestine Poster Project and The Center for the Study of Political Graphics.  She is featured in publications including Art Forum, The Oregonian, L’Orient Le Jour, & The Daily Star. As a nomadic child of diaspora, Farahat plants portals through taste, smell, and sound while continually attempting to live in reciprocity with the land wherever she creates home. 

*she grapples with an appropriate way to name her location amidst the ongoing legacies of harm to land and people by colonialist projects

North View Gallery | Bio for Taravat Talepasand

Taravat Talepasand (she/her) is an artist, activist, and educator whose labor-intensive interdisciplinary painting practice questions normative cultural behaviors within contemporary power imbalances. As an Iranian-American woman, Talepasand explores the cultural taboos that reflect on gender apartheid and political authority as her approach to subversive joy.  

Taravat Talepasand has exhibited nationally and internationally and is in the permanent collection of the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, de Young Museum, Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, Tufts University, Bowdoin College Museum of Art, and the Orange County Museum of Art. Exhibitions included In the Fields of Empty Days: The Intersection of Past and Present in Iranian Art at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, طراوت | TARAVAT at the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts and Macalester College in Minnesota, 2018 Bay Area Now 8 exhibition at the Yerba Buena Center of the Arts, the 2010 California Biennial, and was the recipient of the 2010 Richard Diebenkorn Teaching Fellowship at the San Francisco Art Institute. She is a featured artist in Different Sames: New Perspectives in Contemporary Iranian Art, edited by Hossein Amirsadeghi and the Documentary Pearls on The Ocean Floor by Robert Adanto. Taravat was the Department Chair of Painting at the San Francisco Art Institute and currently lives in Oregon and is the Assistant Professor of Art Practice and Director of Studio MFA at Portland State University Schnitzer School of Art + Art History + Design. Taravat received her BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2001 and MFA at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2006.

About the PCC art galleries

Portland Community College is home to four art galleries: the Helzer Gallery, the North View Gallery, the Paragon Arts Gallery, and the Southeast Gallery, each located on one of our four comprehensive campuses in Portland, Oregon. The art galleries are dedicated to supporting education and community building through the arts.

Funding for student awards was generously provided by HARTS (The Humanities and Arts Initiative) along with the Art Student Supplies Fund through the I Heart Art project and the Associated Students of Portland Community College (ASPCC).HARTS logo