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Reed College’s Art Gallery Receives $15,000 from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation


Grant to the Douglas F. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery will support an exhibition exploring urban and ex-urban architectural environments.


Portland, OR (May 2, 2007) – The Douglas M. Cooley Memorial Art Gallery at Reed College has been awarded a $15,000 grant from the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation to support Suddenly, a project co-authored by Stephanie Snyder, who serves as the John and Anne Hauberg Curator and Director of the Cooley Gallery, and Portland-based writer Matthew Stadler, winner of one of 50 inaugural United States Artists Fellowships.

Featuring both visual artists and writers, Suddenly will explore the changing nature of the built environment—urban, suburban, rural, and natural—when considered in relation to the concept of Zwischenstadt, or “in-between city.” Borrowed from German urban historian Thomas Sieverts, the term refers to the totality of the built environment as an entity shaped by forces indifferent to distinctions of city center and suburb. As Stadler explains, “Sieverts calls this continuous field of development the ‘in-between city’ because it collapses a raft of once-solid polarities by standing ‘in-between,’ as both city and countryside, centered and centerless, temporal and spatial, anchored to place and yet global in reach.”

As an exhibition, Suddenly will be presented in a variety of spaces and forms that reflect the evolving, multivalent nature of space in the Zwischenstadt. The visual art exhibitions, curated by Stephanie Snyder, will be based at the Cooley Gallery, but will extend to other spaces. Possibilities include an Asian shopping mall in Vancouver B.C.; a disused farm house at a commercial thoroughfare in Sherwood, Oregon; an industrial park at the edge of downtown Seattle; and an empty storefront in Philomath, Oregon. The publications, edited by Matthew Stadler, will appear in multiple forms, including a softbound Zwischenstadt Reader that collects a body of fiction and non-fiction; broadsides; flyers; and shopping circulars. Suddenly will also include literary and art-related lectures and dinner symposia.

By examining the logic of the Zwischenstadt through artworks and publications, the exhibition aims to reveal and celebrate the ways in which the Zwischenstadt contradicts and frustrates our nostalgia for the old centralized city, pristine countryside, and ennobling nature, and hopes to make the Zwischenstadt sufficiently intelligible to become a subject in the imagination of its occupants. Suddenly will take place in 2009.