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Pleasant Hill painter to receive distinguished Traditional Artist award

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Left- Ms. Oram at work in her studio. At right is one of her finished pieces. Gayle Oram

Gayle Oram of Pleasant Hill is one of five traditional artists in Oregon to receive a Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program award.

The stipend that will be awarded supports mentor artists in teaching traditional art forms to apprentices from their same cultural, communities, tribes, sacred, or occupational groups. The Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (TAAP) is one way the Oregon Folklife Network supports traditional artists, or Culture Keepers, in Oregon.

A state-level honor of great prestige, TAAP awards are often a precursor for traditional artists to be nominated for the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship award. Funding for TAAP comes from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Applications are accepted annually until October for funding in the following calendar year.

Gayle Oram’s Norwegian Rosemåling painting career spans more than thirty years. Oram first encountered Rosemåling in 1977 in Petersburg, Alaska (a Norwegian fishing settlement with Rosemåling painted on the store fronts). Over the years, Gayle has conducted seminars, local classes, and has published eight books about Rosemåling.

Oram’s apprentice, Patti Jo Meshnik, was first introduced to Rosemåling in June of 1980 in Montana. Her mother, the daughter of Norwegian emigrants, invited her to take a class with her. She had no idea at the time that Rosemåling would become such an important part of her story. Patti Jo is eager to deepen her skills as a Rosemåler in efforts to preserve her Norwegian heritage. After this apprenticeship, she will continue the tradition by teaching Rosemåling classes.

Oram and Meshnik’s artist profiles and samples of their work can be found at: https://mnch.uoregon.edu/gayle-oram

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