Ka'ila Farrell-Smith

Klamath Modoc

ARTIST STATEMENT 2020

Ka’ila is a contemporary Klamath Modoc artist whose practice is directly informed by her
ancestral homelands in Southern Oregon. The framework of her practice focuses on channeling
cultural, political, and historical research through a creative flow of experimentation and artistic
playfulness rooted in Indigenous aesthetics and abstract formalism.
The root of her current research is about familial lineage and connection to land. This has
required genealogical research and tribal research tracking land sales/theft and legacies of
Settler-Colonialism in Oregon. Her studio practice explores space in-between the Indigenous and
western paradigms and fields of knowledge. This research is a part of the studio practice and the
visual artwork is a performative act of dictation. She utilizes white paint as a form of redaction
and erasure, reclaiming colonizer’s attempts to erase Indigenous power and control. The use of
white functions as a reflection of the oppressive white supremacist culture, as well as the
sublime.
Her painting practice is responsive to the land and place, walking and hiking are important part
of life. She harvests wild pigments, charcoal from nearby scorched forest floors, clay from unique
landscapes, and mixes them with acrylic gel medium to create earth pigments. In contrast, she
takes found objects and uses them as stencils with aerosol paint to reflect the aesthetics of
street art and graffiti. Ka’ila exhibits work in the form of paintings, sculptures, and self-curated
installations.

A R T I S T  B I O


Ka'ila Farrell-Smith is a contemporary Klamath Modoc visual artist based in Modoc Point, Oregon. The conceptual framework of her practice focuses on channeling research through a creative flow of experimentation and artistic playfulness rooted in Indigenous aesthetics and abstract formalism. Utilizing painting and traditional Indigenous art practices, her work explores space in-between the Indigenous and western paradigms. Ka’ila displays work in the form of paintings, objects, and self-curated installations.

 

Ka’ila is a Co-director for Signal Fire artist residency program and current Fields Artist Fellow with Oregon Humanities. Her work has been exhibited at Out of Sight, Museum of Northwest Art, Tacoma Art Museum, WA; Missoula Art Museum, MT and Medici Fortress, Cortona, Italy; and in Oregon she has work in the permanent collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and Portland Art Museum. Her work will be on view in 2020 at the Nine Gallery in Portland At Liberty Arts Collaborative in Bend and DITCH Projects in Springfield. Ka’ila has recently been selected to attend artist residencies at Djerassi, UCROSS, Institute of American Indian Arts, and Crow's Shadow.
 

Ka'ila Farrell-Smith received a BFA in Painting from Pacific Northwest College of Art and an MFA
in Contemporary Art Practices Studio from Portland State University.

CURRICULUM VITAE

 

S O L O  E X H I B I T I O N S
2020

  Un-Erasing: Works on Paper. Nine Gallery, Portland, Oregon.
  A Lie Nation, Alienation Review. At Liberty Arts Collaborative, Bend, Oregon
  Ghost Rider. Ditch Projects, Springfield, Oregon.
2019

  Marks From a Journey Home. Fairbanks Gallery of Art, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon.
  A Lie Nation, Alienation: New Paintings. Stumptown Artist Fellowship. Portland, Oregon.2019

 

S E L E C T E D  G R O U P  E X H I B I T I O N S

2020

  Portraiture from the Collection of the Northwest Art. Curated by Storm Tharp and Grace Kook-Anderson. Portland Art Museum,   

    Portland, Oregon.
  Making a Better Painting: Thinking Through Practice. Exhibit and Symposium. Curated by Cara Tomlinson, Elise Richman, Cynthia   

    Camlin, Tia Factor, Sylvan Lionni, Amy Chaloupka, Kevin Bell. Hoffman Gallery, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, Oregon.
  Native Portraiture: Power and Perception. Tacoma Art Museum. Tacoma, Washington. February 10, 2018 - March 3, 2020.

2019
  Portland 2019 Biennial. Curated by Yaelle S. Amir, Elisheba Johnson, and Ashley Stull. Disjecta, Portland, Oregon.

  Water in the West. Drum, Cordage, + Hitchhiker Installation. High Desert Museum, Bend, Oregon.

  Native Portraiture: Power and Perception. Tacoma Art Museum. Tacoma, Washington. February 10, 2018-March 3, 2020.

 

2018

  Reverence. Artists: Natalie M Ball, Rick Bartow, Ka’ila Farrell-Smith. The Little Gallery, Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon. 

  In Red Ink. Curated by Ryan Feddersen. Museum of Northwest Art, La Conner, Washington.

  America Likes Me. Curated by Josephine Zarkovich, Linfield Gallery, McMinnville, Oregon. Artists: Demian DinéYazhi', Daniel Duford,      Ka’ila Farrell-Smith, Julie Green, sidony o’neal, and Marie Watt.

  Woven. Curated by Todd Clark and Wendy Given. Port of Portland, Portland Airport, Oregon.

  Conversations in The Round House: Roots, Roads and Ritual. Curated by Cheryl Hartup and Danielle Knapp. Jordan Schnitzer

    Museum of Art, Eugene, Oregon. August 16, 2017-February 11, 2018.

 

2017

   Out of Sight. Curated by Ben Heywood, Greg Lundgren, S. Surface and Justen Waterhouse. Schoenfelds’ Building, Seattle,

     Washington.

   from which we rise. Curated by Satpreet Kahlon. The Alice Gallery, Seattle, Washington

  Celilo Falls: The Center of the Universe. Gretchen Schuette Art Gallery, Salem, Oregon.

  Protect the Sacred: Native Artists for Standing Rock. Curated by Asia Tail. Spaceworks Gallery, Tacoma, Washington. Linda Hodges

    Gallery, Duo show with Patti Bowman. Seattle, Washington.

  Many Lands. Curated by Ben Gannon. Bridge Productions, Seattle, Washington.

 

2016

  What's the Story? Linda Hodges Gallery, Seattle, Washington.

  The Crossing over Place. Curated by Justen Waterhouse. Institute for New Connotative Action, Seattle, Washington.

  Out of Sight. Curated by Greg Lundgren, Sierra Stinson, Minh Nguyen, Julia Fryett, Beth Sellars, Molly Sides, Scott Lawrimore, Justen   

    Waterhouse. King Street Station, Seattle, Washington.

  Not Vanishing: Contemporary Expressions in Indigenous Art, 1977-2015. Curated by Gail Tremblay and Miles Miller. Missoula Art

    Museum, Missoula, Montana.

  Northwest Art Now @ TAM 2016. Curated by Rock Hushka & Juan Roselione-Valadez. Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, Washington.    Sgwigwial?txw@20: Building Upon the Past, Visioning Into the Future. 20th Anniversary Exhibition, Longhouse Education and Cultural

    Center, The Evergreen State College. Olympia, Washington.

  IMNDN: Woven | Contemporary Native Basketry. Featuring artists: Gail Tremblay, Joe Fedderson, Shan Goshorn, Kelly Church, Pat

   Courtney Gold, Dawn Nichols Walden, Joey Lavadour, Lisa Telford, Bernice Akamine, Carol Emarthle-Douglas, Sara Siestreem and

   Brittany Britton. Curated by Todd Clark. Archer Gallery, Vancouver, Washington.

  2 Vision Quest Glyphology Installation. Curated by Erin Dengerink.Vancouver City Hall, Vancouver, Washington.

 

2015

  Not Vanishing: Contemporary Expressions in Indigenous Art, 1977-2015. Curated by Gail Tremblay and Miles Miller. Museum of

    Northwest Art, La Conner, Washington.

  Artworks NW 2015. Juried by Marie Watt. Umpqua Valley Arts Association, Roseburg, Oregon.

  Abstract Sanctuary. Verum Ultimum Gallery. Portland, Oregon.

 

2014

  How Do I Look?: Race, Beauty, and Desire. Ray Warren Symposium on Race & Ethnic Studies. Lewis & Clark College, Portland,

    Oregon.

  Recent Graduates Exhibit. Blackfish Gallery, Portland, Oregon.

 

2013

  In the Spirit: Contemporary Native Arts. Washington History Museum, Tacoma, Washington.

  Sometimes Between Notions. Ditch Projects, Artist-run Gallery Space, Springfield, Oregon.

 

2012

  In the Spirit: Contemporary Native Arts. Washington History Museum, Tacoma, Washington.

 

2011

  In the Spirit: Contemporary Native Arts. Washington History Museum, Tacoma, Washington.

 

2003

  Giovani Pulscioni. Arte Contemporaneo Cortona, Medici Fortress, Cortona, Italy.

 

C O L L E C T I O N S

2018

  Enrollment. Oil painting in the Permanent Collection of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. Eugene, Oregon.

 

2012

  After Boarding School: In Mourning. Oil painting in the Permanent Collection purchased with funds from the Native American Art   

    Council, Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon.

 

C O M M I S S I O N S

2019

  Water in the West. Drum, Cordage, + Hitchhiker Installation. High Desert Museum, Bend, Oregon.

 

2017

  Abstract Painting Installation. Four (4’ x 4’) Abstract Paintings. Ilani Casino Resort, Cowlitz Tribe. Ridgefield, Washington.

E D U C A T I O N
2014

  MFA Contemporary Art Practices/ Studio degree program, Portland State University (PSU). Portland, Oregon.
2004

  BFA Pacific Northwest College of Art (PNCA). Portland, Oregon.

 

A W A R D S, G R A N T S  &  R E S I D E N C I E S

2020

   Fields Artist Fellowship. Oregon Humanities and Oregon Community Foundation.
 

2019

  Fields Artist Fellowship. Oregon Humanities and Oregon Community Foundation.

 

2018

  Golden Spot Fellowship to Crow’s Shadow. Printmaking residency with Master printer Judith Bauman, Umatilla Reservation, Pendleton,
    Oregon.

  Playa Residency. Summer Lake, Oregon. 5 Paddles, 5 Prayers. Mentors Fellowship, apprenticeship with Shirod Younker, Coos Coquille

    Master Carver. Native Arts & Culture Foundation (NACF), Vancouver, Washington.

 

2017

  Ucross Foundation Residency Program. Ford Foundation Fellowship, Clearmont, Wyoming.

  IAIA Artist-In-Residence. Institute of American Indian Art, Santa Fe, New Mexico.

  Researcher Grant. Bill Holm Center, Burke Museum. University of Washington, Seattle, Washington.

 

2016

  Native Arts Grant. Potlatch Fund. Seattle, Washington. Honoring the Northwest Award. In the Spirit: Contemporary Native Arts Exhibit.’

    Washington Historical Society.

  Professional Development Grant. Support for Djerassi Residency, Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) Portland, Oregon.

  Djerassi Resident Artists Program. Ford Foundation Fellowship, Woodside, California.

  Career Development Grant. Support for Rainmaker Residency, Oregon Arts Commission, Salem, Oregon.

  Rainmaker Artist Residency. Portland, Oregon.

 

2015

  Professional Development Grant. Support for Caldera Residency, RACC, Portland, Oregon. Caldera Artist-In-Residence. Golden Spot

    Award, Ford Foundation Fellowship, Sisters, Oregon.

  Native Creative Development Grant. Longhouse Education & Culture Center at Evergreen State College.

  Precipice Fund Grant. Supporting One Flaming Arrow an Inter-tribal Indigenous Arts, Music & Film Festival, Portland Institute of

    Contemporary Art (PICA), Portland, Oregon. Faculty Diversity Internship Program. Portland Community College (PCC) Sylvania,

    Portland, Oregon.

 

2014

  Best In Show. ‘In the Spirit: Contemporary Native Arts Exhibit.’ Washington Historical Society.

  Community Engagement Award. College of The Arts (COTA), PSU.

 

2013

  Spirit of the Northwest Award. ‘In the Spirit: Contemporary Native Arts Exhibit.’ Washington Historical Society & Longhouse Culture

    Center at Evergreen State College. Native Artists Development Grant. Longhouse Education & Culture Center at Evergreen State   

    College.

  3 Signal Fire. Wide Open Studios Residency, Coyote Canyon/Anza Borrego Desert State Park, California.

 

2012

  Spirit of the Northwest Award. ‘In the Spirit: Contemporary Native Arts Exhibit.’ Washington Historical Society & Longhouse Culture     

   Center at Evergreen State College. 2009 Individual Native Artist Grant. The Potlatch Fund. Seattle, Washington.

 

P R O F E S S I O N A L  A C T I V I T I E S

2020

  Ascend Indigenous Women Printmaking Collaborative. Organized by Kanani Miyamoto and Stephanie Fogel in collaboration with Paul

    Mullowney Printing Press. Project Grant support from RACC, Portland, Oregon.
  Southern Oregon Community Coordinator. Co-directorship for Signal Fire, Chiloquin, Oregon.

 

2019

  Southern Oregon Community Coordinator. Co-directorship for Signal Fire, Chiloquin, Oregon.

 

2018

  Unwalking the West Exhibition & Film Screening. Curated exhibition for Signal Fire. Center for Contemporary Art & Culture, Pacific

    Northwest College of Art, Portland, Oregon. Artists included: Sarah Farahat, Tanja Geis, Joe Hedges, Garrick Imatani, Emmy   

    Lingscheit, Rachelle Reichert, Rick Silva, Ilvs Strauss, Trevino Brings Plenty, Sky Hopinka, Ryan S Jeffery, Caroline Monnet, and

    Vanessa Renwick.

  5 Paddles, 5 Prayers. Apprentice/Mentorship with Shirod Younker. Native Arts & Culture Foundation.

  Board Member for Journey’s in Creativity. Native American pre-college, full-residency art camp. Portland, Oregon.

  Board Member for S’aaMaq’s Studio. Indigenous led art studio non-profit. Portland, Oregon.

  Community Coordinator at Signal Fire. Artist + Activist residency program. Portland, Oregon.

 

2017

  Unwalking the West Film Festival. Curated films by Fernanda D’ Agostino, Sky Hopinka, Ryan Jeffery, Vanessa Renwick, and Sam

    Wainwright Douglas for an evening of films at the Hollywood Theatre.

  Panelist. “Revolutionary Objects, Do Things Matter?” Moderator: Kristan Kennedy, PNCA

  Fall Graduate Symposium: “Visualizing Resistance: Examining the Social Functions of Art and Design” Artist Presentation + Museum

    Guide for MEPI Student Leaders Program. Middle-East Partnership Initiative with Portland State University at the Portland Art

    Museum, Portland, Oregon.

  Artist Presentation. Dispatch, First 100 Days. PICA, Portland, Oregon.

  Co-Guide/Trip Leader. Signal Fire: Great Blanket of Stars: Southeast Oregon Campout. Hart Mountain, Oregon.

  Co-Director. Signal Fire, artist & activist residency program, Portland, Oregon.

  Steering Committee Member. Journeys in Creativity. Native American pre-college, full-residency art camp. OCAC. Portland, Oregon.

 

2016

  Co-Guide/Trip Leader. Signal Fire: “Unwalking the West,” Klamath Backpacking trip. Based out of Portland, Oregon.

  Mentor. Prequel Artist Incubator Program. Sum Gallery, Portland, Oregon. Grant Writing Workshop. MFA in Craft students, Oregon

    College of Arts and Craft (OCAC), Portland, Oregon.

  Artist Talk. Art and Ecology Unite! How Art is Necessary in Ecological Restoration Conference with artists: Vanessa Renwick, Lisa

    Schonberg, Peg Butler, Eric Steen and Adam Kuby, Portland, Oregon.

  Artist Talk. Woven: The Art of Contemporary Basketry, Archer Gallery, Vancouver, Washington.

  Artist Talk. In conjunction with the Vancouver City Hall installation. North Bank Gallery, Vancouver, Washington.

  Co-Director. Signal Fire, artist & activist residency program, Portland, Oregon.

  Co-Director. One Flaming Arrow, Film Festival. Portland, Oregon.

 

2015

  Visiting Artist. Integrated Practices, MFA in Craft, OCAC, Portland, Oregon. ‘No Boundaries’ Field Guide. Workshop led for Journeys in

    Creativity students exploring the No Boundaries: Contemporary Aboriginal Painting Exhibit. Portland Institute of Contemporary Art (   

    (PICA), Portland, Oregon.

  Development Coordinator. Signal Fire. Artist & Activist residency program, Portland, Oregon.

  Co-Curator, Co-Organizer, Grant Writer & Website Designer. One Flaming Arrow. Inter-tribal Art, Music & Film Festival. Portland,

    Oregon.

  Juror. In the Spirit: Contemporary Native Art Exhibit. Washington History Museum, Tacoma, WA.

  Steering Committee Member. Journeys in Creativity. Native American pre-college, full-residency art camp. OCAC. Portland, Oregon.

 

2014

  Academic Presentation. 9th Annual Liberation-Based Healing Conference. “Decolonizing via Indigenous Film & Aesthetic: The

    Transformative Power to Heal & Dream within Indigenous Film.” Lewis & Clark Graduate School of Education & Counseling. Portland,

    Oregon.

  Artist Talk. Native Arts Marketing Strategies for Creative Entrepreneurs. ‘Artist Website Development’ workshop at Grand Ronde Tribal

    Education Center. Native Arts & Cultures Foundation. Grand Ronde, Oregon.

  4 Artist Talk. THIS IS NOT A SILENT MOVIE. Panel Symposium at the Portland Art Museum, in coalition with the Museum of

    Contemporary Craft, Portland, Oregon.

 

2013

  Artist Talk. Docent Training, Portland Art Museum, Portland, Oregon.

  Guest Speaker. RACISM & SETTLER COLONIALISM: At Home and Abroad. NASCC, PSU, Portland, Oregon.

  Witness. Indigenous Arts Planning Conference: Developing an MFA in Indigenous Arts Degree Program & Indigenous Arts Campus.

    The Longhouse Education & Culture Center, Evergreen State College, Olympia, Washington.

 

A R T S  E D U C A T O R | T E A C H I N G

2018

  Portland State University: Indigenous Nations Studies. Adjunct Professor. “Decolonizing Via Indigenous Art,” INST 410.

 

2017

  Portland State University: Indigenous Nations Studies. Adjunct Professor. “Decolonizing Via Indigenous Art,” NAS 410.

 

2015

  Caldera Arts Center. Sisters, OR. Artist-in-Residence (January 2015-Present)

  Presenting artist, Teach workshops for middle-school & high school students in Portland and Eastern Oregon Intensives.

  Portland Community College: Sylvania Campus, Portland, OR. Art Instructor (Spring 2015-Fall 2015).

  Professor of Painting & Drawing 131 A, B, C and 231 A, B, C. A. Susana Santos: Journeys in Creativity Native Youth Art Camp: Oregon

    College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR.

  Mentor and Art Instructor (2012-Present) ‘Introduction to Painting’ workshop 2013 and ‘Monotype’ workshop 2014.

 

2014

  Portland State University: School of Art & Design, Portland, Oregon.

  Art Instructor (January-March 2014) ‘Introduction to Painting for Non-Majors.’

 

2005

  Siletz Tribe: Sitka Center for Art and Ecology, Otis, Oregon. Art Instructor (2005-2004) Annual 3-day tribal youth camp, ages 7-16 for

   the Siletz Tribe.

  Located in the
Historic Liberty Theater

  

  

849 NW Wall Street

Bend, Oregon 97703 

  

info@atlibertyarts.com

458-206-3040

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 Wednesday - Saturday

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Sunday - Tuesday

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