Portland Native Carrie Mae Weems Named MacArthur Fellow

Sep 25, 2013

An artist born and raised in Portland has been named a MacArthur Foundation fellow for this year. Carrie Mae Weems studied photography in New York and California, but her roots are in Portland.

Portland Native Carrie Mae Weems was recently named a MacArthur Foundation fellow for this year.
Credit moniquewingard / Flickr

Over the past three decades, her work has been exhibited throughout the U.S. In February, the Portland Art Museum mounted a retrospective of her photos and videos.

Weems spoke with Oregon Public Broadcasting at that time.

Weems said she knew early on that she wanted to be an artist of some kind. Then a boyfriend gave her a camera. He also gave her a book, the Black Photographers Annual, that set her on her path.

"For the first time I saw black people portrayed in a way that was beyond the stereotype. They were portrayed in all of their humanness. So having that book, having that sense of what was possible, was something that immediately excited me" says Weems.

Weems and the other MacArthur fellows will receive $625,000over the next five years from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.

Copyright 2013 Oregon Public Broadcasting