My goal is to create works of art that resonate with honesty and reflect the beauty and chaos of the world. My art is influenced by human artifacts from ancient times to the present, as well as by my personal experiences and emotions. Like the varied objects I draw on for inspiration--from 1940s knitting catalogs and outsider art, to Native American cedar carvings and Degas' sculptures of dancers--my artworks force an explanation of reality and compel viewers to connect to a larger human experience. I work in various media, including drawing, collage, and sculpture.
Currently I am focusing on ceramic sculpture based on expressive images of the figure I find in a variety of source materials. There are so many figures out there in the world, wearing so many poses and costumes; I find those that resonate and interpret them in clay. Each sculpture expresses an intense inner psychological state, its surface effecting a fluctuating quality, part beautiful, part grotesque.
I grew up in Portland Oregon and continue to live and work here.
Received a scholarship to participate in the class Bas-Relief Sculpture at the Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA
Selected to participate in the class Creating a Story Through Lost Wax Casting at the Pilchuck Glass School, Stanwood, WA
Oregon School of Art and Craft, Portland, OR
Pacific Northwest College of Art, Portland, OR
Bachelors of Fine Arts, Illustration Department, Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, R.I.
RESIDENCIES & PROFESSIONAL ACTIVITIES
Residency, Zentrum für Keramik, Berlin, Germany
Lecture, Adelphi University, Art Department, Garden City, NY
Residency, Caldera Arts Center, Sisters, OR
Senior Residency in Ceramics, Oregon College of Arts & Crafts, Portland, OR
Intersection, selected to observe and create artwork about life within five fire stations located in Portland, OR
Iron Rodeo at Maryhill Museum, Selected to participate in a ten-day iron casting residency program held at the Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, WA
Elsewhere, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
Berlin Works - Ausstellung von Cynthia Lahti, Zentrum für Keramik, Berlin, Germany
NURSE, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
Smile, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
Daughter, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
New Found Land, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
A Secret History, Hauser Memorial Library, Reed College, Portland, OR
Sculpture and Drawings, The Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, OR
New Works, The Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, OR
New Views, The Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, OR
The Art Gym, Marylhurst University, Lake Oswego, OR
Heads, A Site-Specific Installation, Nine Gallery, Portland, OR
Dresses, Nine Gallery, Portland, OR
Blue Gallery, Portland, OR
Northwest Artist Workshop, Portland, OR
SELECTED GROUP EXHIBITIONS
Portland2012 Biennial, Disjecta, Portland, OR/Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland, OR
The Return of the Native, two-person show, KALA @ HIPFiSHmonthly, Astoria, OR
2011, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
Forget Me Not, Reading Frenzy, Portland, OR
Bellevue Arts Museum Biennial 2010, juried exhibition, Bellevue, WA
Texas National, Juried by Judy Pfaff, Nacogdoches, TX
Group Show, PDX Across the Hall, Portland, OR
Portland Comes To Astoria, Astoria, OR
Kinda Like a Buffet, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
Works in glass, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
OCAC Studio School Instructor Show, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR
Artist in Residence Exhibition, Oregon College of Art and Craft, Portland, OR
Portrait Show, Hall Gallery, Portland OR
Next, PDX Contemporary Art, Portland, OR
Sculptural Invitational, Campbell Hall Gallery, Western Oregon University, Monmouth, OR
Iron Rodeo, Spokane Falls Community College Art Gallery, Spokane, WA
Core Sample, An Exhibition of Exhibitions of Portland Art Now, Portland, OR
(Included in the shows Crafty, The Hunt, and Draw)
Bibliocosmos, Douglas Cooley Memorial Art Gallery, Reed College, Portland, OR
Iron Rodeo, Center on Contemporary Art, Seattle, WA
Eighteen Women, curated by Prudence Roberts and William Ittman, The Art Center Gallery,
Community College, Astoria, OR
7th Outdoor Sculpture Invitational, Maryhill Museum of Art, Goldendale, WA
Art About Agriculture Tour, Corvallis, Bend, Klamath Falls, OR
Art Objects: PDX at Portland International Airport, Portland, OR
Way In: An Exhibition of Glass Doors, The Bullseye Connection Gallery, Portland OR
(Commissioned to create cast glass relief panels, which were incorporated into a door)
Finalist, Contemporary Northwest Art Awards, Portland, OR
Nominee, The Louis Comfort Tiffany Foundation Awards in Painting, Sculpture, Printmaking,
Photography, Video, and Craft Media
Career Opportunity Grant for Artists, Oregon Arts Commission
Artist Fellowship, Oregon Arts Commission, Salem, OR
Art Slate ’97, Condon, OR
Willamette Valley Exhibition, Corvallis Art Center, Corvallis OR
A Secret History, Reed College Library Cases, Portland, OR
Portland Building Installation Space, Portland, OR, Diorama, (a site-specific installation
containing drawn and sculpted elements)
Heads, Nine Gallery, Portland, OR
Dresses, Nine Gallery, Portland, OR
SNOW: an interactive, site-specific installation, Portland, OR
Interstate Max Public Art, TriMet, Portland OR; drawing reproduced in enamel on steel
Intersection, residency to create artwork about life in five fire stations in Portland, OR
The Drawing Center, New York, NY; drawings accepted into Registry
Way In: An Exhibition of Glass Doors, The Bullseye Connection, Portland, OR
Visual Chronicle of Portland, Drawing commissioned for inclusion into the Visual Chronicle of
Portland art collection.
Vaeth, Sarah, “Portland2012 at Disjecta Portland,” ARTWRIT, March 2012
Lechner, Jenna, “Welcome to Portland, 2012,” Daily Serving, March 20, 2012
Lechner, Jenna, “Commanding Compassion: The Intimate Sculptures of Cynthia Lahti,” The
Portland Mercury, Sept. 15, 2011.
Hicks, Bob, “On First Thursday, summer’s artistic swan song,” The Oregonian, Sept. 1, 2011.
“First Thursday Picks September 2011,” PORT, Sept. 1, 2011.
“Cynthia Lahti,” Plazm, no. 30, 2011.
Hesa Inprint, issue #7, August 2011.
“Cynthia Lahti,” Ceramics Now Magazine, March 2011.
Kangas, Matthew, “Bellevue Arts Museum Biennial 2010: Clay Throwdown,” Ceramics Monthly, April 2011.
“First Thursday Picks,” PORT, April 2009.
Shapton, Leanne, “Style Dispatch, Portland, OR,” Elle, December, 2008, p. 96.
Raymond, Jon, “Cynthia Lahti: PDX Contemporary,” Artforum, September 2007.
Norris, T.J., “Mayday, Mayday, TJNORRIS.NET, May 5th, 2007.
“First Thursday Picks: May 2007,” PORT, May 2007.
Raymond, Jon, “Schims: Less Gloom in Doom Town,” Modern Painters, November 2006.
Roberts, Prudence, “Cynthia Lahti at PDX Contemporary Art,” Artweek 2006.
Motley, John, “Cynthia Lahti,” The Portland Mercury, December 22, 2005.
Peterson, Isaac, “New Found Land - Cynthia Lahti at PDX,” PORT, December 21, 2005.
Kendellen, Peggy, “ Artits + Firefighters + Memorable Experiences,” Art Notes, The Regional Arts & Culture Council, Vol. 10 No. 6, May/June 2005, p.1.
Gragg, Randy, and Matthew Stadler, editors, Core Sample: Portland Art Now, Clear Cut Press, Astoria, OR.
Raymond, Camela, “Art Diary,” The Organ Review of Arts, Portland OR, Jan/Feb 2004, p.4.
The Organ Review of Arts, Portland OR., Feb/March 2003, p.6 (drawing).
Hall, Stan, “Ten Day Planner,” The Oregonian, May 31, 2002, p. 31, A&E.
Row, D.K., “Critics Picks,” The Oregonian, February 3, 2000.
Gragg, Randy, “Images in Plaster,” The Oregonian, August 1, 1997.
Row, D.K. “The Gothic Images, “ Willamette Week, July 16, 1997.
Caldwell, Frances, “Portland Women Make it in the Gallery Scene,” The Woman’s Journal, p. 10, July 1997.
Cynthia Lahti, Small Plaster Relief Sculptures, exhib. cat. The Art Gym, Marylhurst University, OR, February 1997.
Reed College, Portland, OR
King County Public Art Collection, Harborview Medical Center Collection, Seattle, WA
Oregon Health Sciences, Portland, OR
Boise Art Museum, Boise,ID
lumber room, Portland, OR