“Portland punches way above its weight as a cultural capital,” says Christian Viveros-Fauné.

The Chilean-born, New York-based writer and curator is showcasing the Rose City’s rich arts community as Converge 45’s newest guest curator. Viveros-Fauné will lead programming with over 80 artists across 15 venues under the title Social Forms: Art as Global Citizenship, supported by a grant award from the Oregon Cultural Trust.

Converge 45 is committed to the region’s unique creative community and engaging with critical issues in contemporary art.

“It would be the understatement of the decade to say that I am excited about the opportunities a city-wide exhibition like Converge 45 presents,” says Viveros-Fauné.

Christian Viveros-Fauné. Photo: Will Lytch.

Founded in 2016, Converge 45 seeks to enrich the region’s art community and connect it to the global contemporary arts ecology. What that means for Portland, and Oregon at large, is a deep engagement with regional art that opens dialogues with national and international conversations.

“Place is instrumental in Converge 45’s mission of highlighting Portland artists and deepening the dialogue between our local art community and the global art community,” said Executive Director Margaret Burke. “Our biennial program cannot happen anywhere else—it is specifically designed to spotlight the thought leadership, cultural capital, and creative work in Portland (to locals and non-locals) and deepen the dialogue between our arts community and the global arts community.”

As the third guest curator, Viveros-Fauné’s program will unfold over multiple venues and in collaboration with the region’s arts and cultural institutions. The main activities of Social Forms will take place in the second half of 2023 and will include local, national, and international artists.

“The challenges of our evolving moment are obvious; with Converge 45 I want to concentrate on its more critical and empathetic creative possibilities,” says Viveros-Fauné.

In addition to the sociopolitical climate today, Social Forms presents a huge strategic challenge profoundly aided by the Cultural Trust’s support.

There will be challenges.

“The sheer amount of logistical work that it takes to orchestrate a program of this scale,” said Burke. “There is a lot to consider, coordinating more than 80 artists across 15 venues and shows. With changing timelines and costs due to supply chain issues, there are also many variables that can’t be controlled. The Oregon Cultural Trust grant is a huge help for unexpected things like this, since it provides unrestricted funds that can go towards our project costs. It allows us to use the funding to support these evolving needs.”

Oregonians know just how exceptional our arts community is. Converge 45’s mission is to enrich lives through contemporary art while connecting the Pacific Northwest to the global arts community. Through Social Forms, Converge 45 will highlight and expand engagement with culture in our region. Stay tuned for more information about the exciting programs coming in 2023.

This story was created in partnership with Here is Oregon and Oregonian Media Group. Here is Oregon’s mission is to lift and celebrate Oregon — the people, places, experiences, and diversity of culture and skills that build community and inspire innovation. Follow along @HereisOregon and #SharetheGood.