OAI Art Opening: Tia Factor
Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 4:00pm to Tuesday, February 13, 2018 - 6:00pm
OAI Art Opening: Tia Factor

Join us for a reception to celebrate the opening of Tia Factor's new show, "Private Places," a selection of paintings that will be on view in our office's gallery space.  Tia is a Senior Instructor and Art Practice BFA Coordinator for the School of Art + Design at Portland State University, and we are thrilled to have her sharing her work with us this winter term. Come meet Tia, view her stunning work, and enjoy refreshments together with the Portland State community!





Opening Reception

February 13th, from 4pm - 6pm
at The Office of Academic Innovation, SMSU 209
Refreshments will be served.

About "Private Places"


Factor's work is concerned with the concept of topophilia, a term coined by geographer Yi-Fu Tuan, which is defined as the emotional connections between the physical environment and human beings.

Factor's studio practice incorporates the social element of interviewing others which becomes the jumping-off point for her paintings. She observes how people describe place, recording the distortions, emotions, projections, ambitions, aspirations, or romanticized elements that come in to play when describing personal experiences of place. The discrepancies between the concrete, objectively perceived elements of our surroundings and the less tangible, intuitively accessed realities of place are the focal point of the images. While referencing the tradition of historical landscape painting, often utilizing idyllic, romantic and pastoral imagery, Factor blurs the boundaries of representational space with her passion for abstraction and the physical gestures of painting itself.

For this exhibition, Factor has selected paintings from two related bodies of work: Escapism and Fortress. Both series are inspired by the common human impulse to dream-up a “better place”, to design the perfect community and live in harmony among like-minded people. The works from Escapism take as their point of departure interviews with associates of Factor’s who grew up on communes or intentional communities of the 70’s or 80’s. The imagery is painted in oils over indigo dyed canvas, reminiscent of popular DIY textile patterns of the hippy era. Like the interviews, Factor has again drawn on the experiential perspective while she spent a week in a gated community in Hawai’i called Hali’I Kai. There she gathered source material and imagery for her new body of work, Fortress. This experience allowed her to frame the questions around, and point her gaze toward, the darker side of utopia. Factor looks at the impulse toward fantasy and perfectionism and asks how it plays out in our current times. Neo-communal entities, separatism, self-segregation, lifestyle communities, gated communities, golf/leisure communities, home-owners associations, and gated new towns/communities are all locations from which Factor draws her inspiration and source material. At the heart of the project, Factor asks, “who and what get excluded as we put up the gates and fortify the boundaries, and at what cost to ourselves and society?”


About the Artist


Tia FactorTia Factor received her BFA from the California College of the Arts (CCA) in 1997 and her MFA from the University of California at Berkeley in 2001. Her work has appeared in solo and group exhibitions from Oregon to Denmark, Chicago to Tasmania, and exhibited in such notable venues as the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts (SF), Sonoma Valley Museum of Art, Berkeley Art Museum, Richmond Art Center (CA), Oliver Art Center (CCA, Oakland), Southern Exposure (SF), Pacific Northwest College of Art, Mary Elizabeth Dee Shaw Gallery (UT), Torrance Art Museum (CA), The Center for Contemporary Arts (Santa Fe) and the Schneider Museum at Southern Oregon University in Ashland. Factor has been featured in art magazines and on-line publications including Bear Deluxe, Stretcher, Artweek, New American Paintings, NAU NUA (Spain), art ltd., and in No Place, a catalog made possible by a RACC Professional Development Grant. She is a Senior Instructor and Art Practice BFA Coordinator for the School of Art + Design at Portland State University. 

Visit her website at