ABOUT | PARTICIPANTS | VISITING ARTIST | TESTIMONIALS | APPLY | FAQ
WHAT MAKES ASH STREET PROJECT AND ITS MENTORSHIP PROGRAM UNIQUE?
The Ash Street Project is a mutually supportive environment of creative, engaged artists. In addition to the studios of Thomas Orr and Joanna Bloom, ASP houses a commercial gallery, workspace for as many as five emerging artists, a studio tech, and a visiting artist.
ASP:EAMP was created to fill a niche in providing emerging artists with an affordable means to gain professional experience. It is neither a college studio nor an apprenticeship. It is a unique model, where artists learn through active participation in a professional studio with artist and educator Thomas Orr.
In the mentorship program, each artist has 24 hour access to a dedicated 120 square foot individual workspace, equipped with a worktable and shelving. Participants can access an 860 square foot “flex space,” for working on temporary projects. This doubles as a shared central space reserved for visiting artists, lectures and community classes.
WHO IS THOMAS ORR?
Thomas Orr is a professional artist and educator who works primarily in clay and glass. He came to value the mentorship model through his studies with Paul Soldner at The Claremont Graduate School. He went on to run the Ceramics department at Oregon College of Art and Craft for 18 years, where he found one of his passions to be guiding students in their post college transitions. Many of these students have gone on to prestigious graduate programs and/or successful careers as studio artists. Thomas was awarded Professor Emeritus, in 2013, for his distinguished service teaching at Oregon College of Art and Craft.
WHAT ABOUT FIRINGS AND MATERIALS?
ASP offers the following electric kilns:
5 cubic oval electric
8 cubic foot oval electric
1 test kiln
Given our dense urban setting, ASP cannot offer atmospheric firings on site. Use of kilns and basic raw glaze ingredients are included in the cost of the program at Ash Street. All other pertinent materials are the responsibility of participants.
DO I ATTEND CLASSES?
The ASP:EAMP program is a balance of dedicated individual time, moderated group sessions and “subject seminars.” Based on the interests of each group, structured seminars are then created and lead by Thomas Orr on topics such as “materials and surfaces" and “the history of ceramics.” In addition, each group has the opportunity to enrich their experience by visiting local studios and observing skills such as slipcasting, printmaking, sculpture and production pottery.
WILL I HAVE HOMEWORK?
As a community of driven, creative individuals, your commitment is what helps ASP:EAMP thrive. There are no formal assignments, but artists are required to be engaged in actively pursuing their goals in order to remain part of the program.
WILL ASP:EAMP HELP TO PROMOTE MY WORK?
ASP:EAMP’s mission is to guide artists in achieving their goal, whether it be to set up a professional studio or develop a portfolio for graduate studies. Each artist in the program receives a listing on our website, assistance in documenting their work, and participation in both a group and individual show in Ash Street’s commercial gallery space. Exhibits at Ash Street are included in Portland’s First Friday art walk.
WHERE IS THE Ash Street Project AND HOW do I get there?
The Ash Street Project is a 5000 square foot warehouse studio and gallery located in Portland’s Central Eastside Industrial District. It is within a block of the trolley and several major bus routes. It is a short walk across the river to downtown Portland and parallel to a heavy use bike corridor street. Parking is limited, so public transportation or biking is encouraged.
HOW DO I APPLY? DO I NEED A DEGREE?
ASP:EAMP considers several factors in deciding whether or not you are a good fit for the program. Some artists come to us with undergraduate art degrees, some with equivalent life experience. What is most important is dedication and focus.
Our application process has two parts. First, fill out and submit an application form. This is followed by an interview, which is ideally held in person at ASP. This allows you to see the space and for all of us to determine whether the ASP:EAMP program is the right fit for you.
HOW LONG IS THE MENTORSHIP PROGRAM AND HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?
The ASP:EAMP is an 11 month program, ideally beginning mid January and running through mid December, though this time line is fluid.
We are currently working on establishing Ash Street Project as a 501c3, which will allow us funding to support our artists. Our current tuition is $5,000 for the 11 month program. We are happy to work with our artists to help find scholarship and work opportunities to defray cost. Please don't hesitate to inquire about assistance .
DO YOU GRANT DEGREES?
ASP:EAMP is a non-degree program.
As part of a creative, thriving, urban core, Ash Street Project has a history of hosting occasional random events. The space has been used for glass slumping parties, auction fundraisers, school projects and even the filming of Portlandia (see community & events to watch skit). Potlucks are a regular part of the ASP:EAMP program, and with Portland being such fertile ground for artists, you can expect impromptu social gatherings when guest artists are passing through.