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I have a very labor-intensive and detail-oriented way of working, in which craftsmanship and material choices play a large role.  My sculptures address issues of physical and mental health/illness, class, memory, and social interaction.  Much of my subject matter is drawn from my familial history.  Often my work starts as a lingering feeling or impression that defies words and imagery.  I spend a long time meditating on this sentiment, turning it over and over in my mind like a worry stone.  It is important for me to hunt down the perfect metaphors and representations until I find one that resonates.  



Crystal Schenk received an MFA from Portland State University in 2007, and BFA from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 1999.  She lives and works in Portland, Oregon, USA.  She is an adjunct professor at Pacific Northwest College of Art and Portland State University.Schenk’s artwork has been published in Sculpture and Craft magazines.  She was awarded the International Sculpture Center's Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award for 2006, and was subsequently selected as the recipient of ISC’s artist in residency program at Art-st-urban in Switzerland.  Since then she has repeatedly returned to make new sculptural works, which are featured in a permanent solo exhibition at Art-st-urban.  In 2009 Art-st-urban awarded Schenk with the institution’s first Emerging Sculptor Award.  Schenk’s work was represented at the Oregon biennial, Portland 2010 and 2013 Selection Art Fair at Art Basel.



MFA   2007    Portland State University, Portland, OR                             

BFA   1999    The School of the Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago, IL



2015           •  Americans for the Arts, Public Art Network Year in Review; National Recognition of 31 Outstanding Public Artworks of 2014

2013           •  Regional Arts and Culture Council Project Grant

                    •  Caldera’s Ford Family Foundation Artist in Residence Prize

2010           •  Artists Wanted, Top 100 Artist of A Year in Review

2009           •  Emerging Sculptor Award, Art-st-urban, St Urban, Switzerland

                          Jurors: Johanna Hutchinson, Director of International Sculpture Center

                                      Dr. Petra Arends, Collection Executive Director, UBS Art, Zurich, Switzerland

                                      Prof. W. Kufferath, Art Historian, Trimbach, Switzerland

2006           •  Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture, International Sculpture Center



2013           •  Caldera, Artist in Residence, Sisters, OR

2011           •  Art-st-urban, Artist in Residence, St Urban, Switzerland

2009           •  Rensing Center, Artist in Residence, Pickens, SC

                    •  Milepost 5, Artist in Residence, Portland, OR

2007           •  Art-st-urban, St Urban, Switzerland, six week fully funded artist residency with Heinz Aeschlimann



2013           •  Shelter, Bullseye Gallery, Portland, OR

                    •  Artifacts of Memory, Linfield Gallery, McMinnville, OR •  Aurora, TEDx Concordia College, Portland, OR  

                    •  New Works: Fragmented Body, Art-st-urban, St Urban, Switzerland           

                    •  See the Magic?  Collaborative installation with Shelby Davis. Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, OR.

                    •  Raven and Owl. Collaborative installation with Shelby Davis. Carl Greve Storefront, Portland OR.


2009           •  West Coast Turnaround. Collaborative installation with Shelby Davis. Milepost 5, Portland, OR.


2008           •  Unseen Forces Are at Work, Igloo Gallery, Portland, OR  

                    •  Fingerprint Project, PDX Window Project, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR  


2007           •  Art-st-urban, St. Urban, Switzerland  

                    •  Artifacts of Memory – MFA Thesis Exhibition, Autzen Gallery, Portland, OR


2006           •  Alchemy, Portland, OR



2013           •  Selection Artfair; Art Basel – represented by Art-st-urban, Basel Art Center, Hall 33, Basel, Switzerland

                    •  Art-st-urban, St Urban, Switzerland (invitational group show and art auction)

                    •  Past Future: 2013 PNCA Faculty Biennial, Pacifice Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR

                    •  Faculty Exhibition, Manuel Izquierdo Gallery, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR


2012           •  Faculty Exhibition, Arnold Gallery, Lewis and Clark College, Portland, OR


2010           •  Scope Art Fair, represented by myartspace as Top 50 Finalist of Scope Miami Competition, Miami, FL

                    •  Sitka Art Invitational, Portland, OR

                    •  Windows into Art, Vancouver, WA

                    •  Portland 2010: Oregon Biennial, curated by Cris Moss, Disjecta, Portland, OR

                    •  Mustang Sally, TCB, Melbourne, Australia


2009           •  Aqua Art Miami, represented by myartspace as Top 50 Finalist of Aqua Miami Competition, Miami, FL

                    •  Art-st-urban, St Urban, Switzerland (invitational group show and art auction)

                    •  PNCA Faculty Biennial, Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR

                    •  Store for a Month, Portland, OR


2008           •  Bridge Art Fair Miami, represented by myartspace as Top 50 Finalist of Bridge Miami Competition, Miami, FL

                    •  Overkill #2, Jáce Gáce, Portland, OR

                    •  Cross Section ’08, PSU Art Alumni Exhibition, Autzen Gallery, Portland, OR

                    •  2008 Bellevue Sculpture Exhibition: Sculpted Green, Bellevue City Hall, WA



•  Division Streetscape – Percent for Public Art Project, Installation 2014.  Collaboration with Shelby Davis

   Location: Eight locations on SE Division Street between 11th and 39th, Portland OR

   Commissioning Agency: Regional Arts and Culture Council


•  Raven and Owl, 2010.  Collaboration with Shelby Davis

   Location: 3 month long temporary installation in the Carl Greve Building, Portland OR

   Commissioning Agencies: Regional Arts and Culture Council & Portland Business Alliance



•  Art-st-urban, St Urban, Switzerland

•  Wieden & Kennedy, Portland, OR

•  Caldera, Sisters, OR

•  Portland Children’s Museum, Portland, OR



•  Richard Spear, “10 Favorite Shows from 2002-2015”, Willamette Week, April 1, 2015.

•  Ana Finel Honigman, Whitewall Magazine, Spring 2015 , 58-59.

•  Interview with Ana Finel Honigman, “In the Studio with Crystal Schenk”, ISC re:sculpt Blog, November 19, 2014.

•  Interview with April Baer, State of Wonder on OPB, Portland, Oregon, December 7, 2013. •  High Desert Journal.  Issue 18, Fall 2013, back cover.

•  Elizabeth Lopeman, Review of Artifacts of Memory, Sculpture, Vol. 32, No. 4, May 2013, 77.

•  Peter Plagens, “Our Next Art Capital: Portland?”, The Wall Street Journal, May 2, 2012.

•  Interview with Eva Lake, Art Focus on KBOO, Portland, Oregon, April 8, 2012.

•  Jennifer Rabin, “The Only Way Around is Through: Artifacts of Memory”, Drain: Supernature, Issue 15, 2012.

•  “Asphalt Art, Neue dimensionen der Schwarzen Kunst”, Gussasphalt Magazin, November 2011, 33.

•  D.K. Row, "Portland 2010: A Biennial Exhibition of Contemporary Art", The Oregonian, April 12, 2010.

•  Graham Bell, “Portland 2010 Revisited”, Portland Monthly, Culturephile Blog, March 31, 2010.

•  Richard Speer, “Portland 2010”, Willamette Week, March 17, 2010.

•  Matt Stangel, “Disjecta Grows Arms”, Portland Mercury, March 18, 2010.

•  Lisa Radon, “Portland 2010”, Drain: Rewind, Issue 13, 2010.

•  Willi Bürgi, “First Emerging Artist Award Assigned by art-st-urban”, Willisauer Bote , April 2009.

•  “Art Thou Green; Bellevue Arts Commission Puts on a Show in Their Own Backyard,” Seattle Magazine, August 2008, 150.

•  Interview, Bellevue TV, Bellevue, Washington, June 12, 2008.

•  “Crystal Schenk on Her Experience in Switzerland,” Sculpture, Vol. 27, No.3, April 2008, 80.

•  “The ISC’s Swiss Residency,” Sculpture, Vol. 26, No. 8, October 2007, 80.

•  Carla Sinclair, “From Grocery Cart to Crafted Art,” Craft, Vol. 4, August 2007, 176.           

•  “2007 ISC Sculpture Residency in Switzerland Winners Selected,” Sculpture, Vol. 26, No. 3, April 2007, 72.

•  “2006 Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Awards,” Sculpture, Vol. 25, No. 8, October 2006, 56.



•  Recalling the Future & Imagining a Past: A Journal Published on the Occasion of the Pacific Northwest College of Art

   Faculty Biennial 2013. Published by Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland OR.  2013.

•  TEDx ConcordiaUPortland – Becoming Extraordinary.  Event catalogue. Published by Concordia University, Portland OR.

•  Portland 2010: A Biennial of Contemporary Art. . Full-color catalogue, essays by Cris Moss, Annie Buckley and Chas Bowie.

   Published by Disjecta contemporary Art Center, Portland OR.  2010.

•  Pacific Northwest College of Art – Faculty Biennial Exhibition.  Full-color catalogue, essay by Barry Sanders.

   Published by Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland OR.  2009.

•  Art-st-urban Artist in Residence Auction.  Published by Art-st-Urban, St Urban, Switzerland. 2009.



2013           •  Bullseye Resource Center


2012           •  TEDx Concordia College, Portland, OR

                    •  Linfield College, McMinnville, OR


2007           •  Portland State University, Portland, OR

                    •  Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus, Portland, OR



Fall 2012

Assistant Professor, Adjunct – Lewis & Clark College, Portland OR

Sculpture I


Jan 2009 – Present   

Assistant Professor, Adjunct – Portland State University, Portland OR

Intro Sculpture I, Intro Sculpture II, Intermediate Sculpture I, Figure Sculpture, Mold Making & Casting, 3-D Design, Idea and Form


Sept 2008 –  Present  

Assistant Professor, Adjunct – Pacific Northwest College of Art , Portland OR

Figure Sculpture, Carving and Reductive Techniques, 3-D Design, Experiments in Drawing


Sept 2008 –  Dec 2010  

Assistant Professor, Adjunct – Portland Community College, Portland OR

Mold Making and Casting, 3-D Design, Basic Design, Color Theory, Drawing


July 2005 – Dec 2008  

Instructor – The Art Institute of Portland, Portland OR

Sculpture Theory and Practice, Figure Sculpture, Figure Drawing, Drawing 1, Principals of Visual Communication



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