Bean Gilsdorf will write a series of essays that examine the past, present, and precarious future of the art ecosystem in Portland, Oregon. Her essays will analyze how artists in the Pacific Northwest are dealing with contemporary realities such as increased costs of living and the commensurate loss of spaces and resources. She will track political shifts in state and city funding for the visual arts, and document the lasting threats to art institutions posed by current patronage models and by the coronavirus. Gilsdorf will pose questions about how art workers might sustain the long-term health of their communities through collective action, and how these critical strategies might be applied in other cities across the country.

Bean Gilsdorf writes about feminism, art, and the effects of socioeconomic conditions on artistic practices. She is the former editor-in-chief of Daily Serving, an international art blog, and her reviews and essays have appeared in Artforum, Art in America, BOMB, frieze, The Los Angeles Review of Books, and in other publications. As a 2015-16 and 2016-17 Fulbright Fellow in Warsaw, Gilsdorf wrote essays examining contemporary Polish art where it intersects with the deprivations of Eastern European communism and the recent rise of the ultra-right-wing in Polish elected leadership. Gilsdorf was a columnist-in-residence for SFMOMA’s Open Space, and was the 2018 Art Writer in Residence at SPACES in Cleveland, Ohio. She is also a visual artist and an editor, and lives in Portland, Oregon.