2022 IPKA Fellow Chosen - Greg A. Robinson Press Release

Greg A. Robinson selected as Indigenous Place Keeping Artist Fellow

Grand Ronde, Oregon – The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde is pleased to announce that Greg A. Robinson (Chinook Nation) has been selected as one of two Indigenous Place Keeping Artist Fellows for 2022. A direct descendent of the Chinookan people from the lower Columbia and Willapa Bay, Robinson draws on his family connection to the lower Columbia River for his artwork – creating  pieces in  different mediums in the style of the Chinookan peoples he is descendent from. Working primarily in wood, large stone, bone and hide, as well as pigments he draws inspiration and technical knowledge form the study of ancient and contemporary works in private and museum collections.

During this Fellowship, Robinson will be coming up with an alternative to metal/stone as an outdoor art medium for Chinookan Art.  He plans to develop a large artwork using Ultra High Performance (UHP) concrete and cast/carved glass to construct an outdoor sculpture that is durable and resistant to vandalism.  As old growth cedar becomes scarce, and is vulnerable to vandalism, steel has been a go to material of indigenous artists. 

“My goal is to create work that contributes to the general public and other natives knowing that a local indigenous art form distinct to this region exists,” Robinson stated. “I hope that this work will help proliferate the understanding of Chinookan Art as the indigenous art form of the lower Columbia River and in doing so, aid in correcting the public’s misunderstanding that art from elsewhere is of this place.” 

“Robinson’s dedication to studying the art form from museums and collections found all over the world has kept him true to the form of our Chinookan art,” said Bobby Mercier, Cultural Advisor for the Grand Ronde Tribe. “Creating beautiful pieces of art of his own and coming up with his own signature pieces has been shocking and powerful to our peoples and communities.” 

Robinson is represented by Quintana Galleries in Portland, OR and the Steinbruek Native Gallery in Seattle, WA and has been broadly recognized for his work. In 2005 Robinson received the Department of the Interior’s Cooperative Conservation Award for his leadership and the involvement in the planning and building of the authentic Chinookan Cathlapotle Plankhouse. One of his public works include a five foot diameter bronze medallion and tow basalt carvings- representative of the ancient traditions of the Chinookan people- that adorn both side of the Tilikum Crossing  in Portland, Oregon. Thlatwa Thlatwa: Indigenous Currents - Portland Art Museum’s inaugural exhibition in the new Center for Contemporary Native Art in 2015, Portland Japanese Garden’s Forest of Dreams exhibition in 2019, as well as numerous other gallery shows and commissions.

Outside of his gallery work, he teaches tribal members a variety of carving, painting, and design techniques as an instructor in the Lifeways cultural program of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. His fellowship begins immediately.

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The Indigenous Place Keeping Artist (IPKA) Fellowship was created in 2022 by the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and provides up to $20,000 for serving as a Fellow. The Fellowship exists to develop indigenous artist capacity within the Grand Ronde Tribe’s homelands. Art by indigenous people is one of the most effective and recognizable ways that we as indigenous people of place can hold a place in our homelands and further our own recognition and persistence. The Fellowship is seen as a means to develop artists resumes with an intent that artists who have been Fellows become more competitive for local, regional, and nationwide funding opportunities that will make an independent career as a full time artists possible for more indigenous people of this place. 


A call for applications is made each fall for the IPKA Fellowship and is open to individuals who can demonstrate a verifiable indigenous connection to ancestral peoples of Western Oregon from the lower Columbia River in the North to the Klamath River in the South. One or more Fellows are selected based on available funding. The IPKA Fellowship is administered by the Grand Ronde Cultural Resources Department. More information can be obtained by emailing Cultural.Resources@grandronde.org.