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ASLA: Advocating for Landscape Architecture

ASLA: Advocating for Landscape Architecture
by Jean Senechal Biggs, President-Elect

As the professional organization for landscape architects, ASLA is focused on providing chapters with resources for advocating on important issues at the national, state and local level. ASLA’s Government Affairs team leads this effort with a focus on two key events: the annual Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill and the annual Advocacy Summit. The Oregon Chapter participated in both of these events this year, building our connections with our elected officials in Washington D.C., as well as with our colleagues from ASLA chapters across the country.

IMG_6087Indiana Chapter Trustee David Gorden begins a tour of downtown Indianapolis on the steps of the Indiana State Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Monument.

Advocacy Day

Landscape architects from chapters around the country convened in Washington D.C. on Thursday, May 19 for ASLA’s annual Advocacy Day on Capitol Hill. Over 180 ASLA members participated in 214 legislative meetings, including 67 with elected officials, to urge Congress to pass the Centennial Challenge to fund projects in our National Parks and to support federal transportation funding for green infrastructure and resilient streets. Our role as advocates was to educate policymakers and share our own stories on the impact of landscape architecture on these issues. We tweeted from Capitol Hill using the hashtag #iAdvocate to demonstrate our collective voice.

Representing the Oregon Chapter, President Laurie Matthews, President-Elect Jean Senechal Biggs, and Trustee Brian Bainnson met with Senator Jeff Merkley and Congressman Earl Blumenauer, as well as staff from Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici and Senator Ron Wyden. ASLA Vice President for Government Affairs and Oregon Chapter member, Robin Lee Gyorgyfalvy, joined us on our visits and also met with Congressman Greg Walden.

IMG_5760 Laurie Matthews, Robin Lee Gyorgyfalvy, Brian Bainnson and Jean Senechal Biggs gather outside Senator Merkley’s office in the Hart Senate Office Building on Advocacy Day.

Advocacy Summit

The Indiana Chapter hosted this year’s Advocacy Summit, a two-day workshop focused on providing chapters with the tools and expertise to advocate at the state and local level. President-Elect Jean Senechal Biggs attended this year’s summit along with representatives from 30 other chapters in Indianapolis in mid-August.

Licensure advocacy has been a primary focus of ASLA’s State Government Affairs work. In 2015 and 2016, deregulation and sunset reviews became legislative threats to landscape architecture licensure in several states. In response, staff developed the new Licensure Advocacy Toolkit that includes landscape architecture fact sheets, FAQs, guidelines for using ASLA’s iAdvocate network to send messages to legislators, and tips for planning a state advocacy day. ASLA unveiled these new tools at the summit and all of these resources are now available on the ASLA website at www.asla.org under the “Advocate” tab.

Leaders from the Arizona, North Carolina, and Ohio chapters attended the summit and shared their stories “from the trenches” where they successfully worked through the legislative process to retain the practice acts in their states. ASLA chapters became the organizing agent for advocacy efforts in each state, activating and uniting the landscape architecture community and pulling in the expertise of ASLA to support their efforts.

The summit wrapped up with a tour of downtown Indianapolis led by local landscape architects and highlighting recent work. Despite the heavy rain, we experienced the Indianapolis Cultural Trail, Georgia Street, and the Downtown Indy Canal Walk and learned about recent transformation of the downtown.

What’s Next for Advocacy in Oregon? 

To follow up on our Advocacy Day meeting, we are currently working with staff from Rep. Bonamici’s office to schedule a tour later this fall to showcase landscape architecture projects in her district. A site visit is a great way to connect with elected officials while demonstrating the impact of landscape architecture in the community.

We’re interested in hearing from our members on projects to include on our tour. Please let us know if you have a project to highlight and are able to join us for a tour. Contact President-Elect Jean Senechal Biggs at presidentelect@aslaoregon.org with your ideas and interest.


Changes ahead for ASLA Membership Dues

Beginning in 2017 ASLA is changing the structure of membership dues for emerging professionals, and Oregon ASLA is raising chapter dues for full and affiliate members by $5 from $80 to $85 per year. Associate member dues will not change and will remain at $45 per year. This is the first chapter dues increase in more than two years, and the chapter will not revisit a chapter dues increase again until 2018.

In May, the ASLA Board of Trustees approved a new Graduated Dues Program for emerging professionals. The program will extend for the first five years following graduation, when an individual is eligible for Associate membership, then the first two years of full membership.  There will no longer be a free associate year for members transitioning from student membership; however, the total savings for those that would have taken advantage of the free year is $269.  For those who join in year one, the savings is $481. Individuals that are currently within the first five years following graduation will be transitioned to the new rates upon renewal in 2017.

  Membership Category 2017-2018 Dues Notes
Year 0 Student 55
Year 1 Associate 65 Eliminated free year for those transitioning from student membership (student special); 62 percent discount for those joining as associates in the first year
Year 2 Associate 99 54 percent discount over current Year 2 associate; 18 percent discount over student special associates
Year 3 Associate 175 35 percent discount over current Year 3 associates
Year 4 Full Member – Special Rate 225 39 percent discount over full membership
Year 5 Full Member – Special Rate 299 19 percent discount over full membership
Year 6 Full Member 370

PARK(ing) Day 2016

Beginning in 2005 by a design studio in San Francisco, PARK(ing) Day now is a world-wide event, held always the third Friday in September. That means that this year, PARK(ing) Day is September 16. While your local chapter of the ASLA is not officially sponsoring an installation this year, firms are encouraged to have some fun in the street and tell people about Landscape Architecture.

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Sound interesting? Some tips you might consider;

-you will need to get permits from the municipality where you live
-make sure that you connect with the neighboring people and businesses well before the event to make sure they are aware and help allay fears of losing parking spots.
-alert the local ASLA chapter members of your installation so people can visit
-post lots of photos and tag them #ASLAPD16. ASLA will then have a nation-wide contest to crown the favorite professional and student installation.
For more details on putting a PARK(ing) Day together, download the PARK(ing) Day manual http://parkingday.org/resources/


2016 Diversity Summit

The 2016 ALSA Diversity Summit recently took place in Washington, D.C. It was a two day event between July 9th-10th, featuring several brainstorming sessions covering ways to bring forth a more diverse landscape architecture profession. 

IMG_1377An executive committee member, Paula Baretto, Student Liason was invited to attend this timely and important event.

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While landscape architecture remains a small profession employing just 21,600, according to estimates by the U.S. Bureau of Labor, the demographics within the profession do not match the racial and ethnic demographics of the country. This discrepancy will only become increasingly glaring as the minority population across the U.S. continues to grow.

In 2043, the U.S. is projected to become a majority-minority nation for the first time.  Minorities, now 73 percent of the U.S. population, are projected to make up to 57 percent of the population in 2060. The total minority population will more than double, from 116.2 million to 241.3 million over the period. To remain relevant and able to serve the country’s increasingly diverse communities, landscape architecture needs to become a more ethnically and culturally diverse profession.

Participants from the 2015 summit merged with 2016 participants to discuss and continue the work of years past. Major topics covered included K-12 outreach, short and long-term goals focused on program branding and recruitment, and lastly, ways to navigate university and firm cultures as a minority.

On the final day, areas of consensus were distilled into action items, where three strategies were determined and specific ways to implement them were discussed. The end result will be a compiled handbook offered to all ASLA state chapters to use in the effort of diversifying the profession.

Next year will mark the fifth year of the ASLA Diversity Summit, where all participants have been invited to return to Washington D.C. We will be discussing what we have done, what has worked and what has not, and most importantly, where we will be going as we continue in this effort.

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2016 Elections: Meet the Candidates!

Oregon ASLA is pleased to announce and extend to our members this year’s official slate of candidates for the Executive Committee 2016 ballot. Ballots will be emailed to current Fellows, Full Members and Associate Members on Wednesday, July 20th and will close at midnight on Friday, August 19th. The results will be officially announced in mid-September.

New Executive Committee members transition into their new roles after the elections and officially begin their term of office at the end of October, after the ASLA Annual Meeting & EXPO in New Orleans.

Please take a moment to vote in our upcoming elections! This is your opportunity to provide input of the future of our chapter and select our next group of leaders to inspire our members and bring our group of professionals together.

Candidate for President-Elect

Andreas Stavropoulos, ASLA
BASE Landscape Architecture 

Andreas Stavropoulos

Andreas is the co-founder and principal at BASE Landscape Architecture, a small firm with offices in Portland and San Francisco. Since starting BASE at the age of 30, Andreas has applied his playful approach and love of craft to create unexpected and enduring places for clients such as the National Park Service, the Children’s Museum of Sonoma County and Ecotrust. He conceived of, designed and built the National Park Service’s “roving rangers,” a troupe of mobile park ranger stations made from retired bread trucks, to connect with new communities and increase the diversity of park visitors. His non-roving projects at schools, museums and local businesses emphasize play-based learning for kids and adults alike.

BASE projects have won regional ASLA awards, the SXSW Eco Award in Resilience, and the Association for Learning Environments’ Design Concept Award. Andreas has taught professional practice and plant identification at the University of California, Berkeley, and small structure design at Yestermorrow Design/Build School in Vermont. He holds a BS in earth sciences from Dartmouth College and an MLA from UC Berkeley.

“I am interested in becoming your president-elect so I can help strengthen the statewide landscape architecture community and advocate for our profession in Oregon and nationwide. I believe I could be a strong voice in cultivating a greater understanding for our work at a time when its relevance is increasing. I look forward to getting to know lots of people in our community, building relationships with other ASLA chapters across the country, and having fun along the way.”

Candidate for Vice President of Chapter Services

Jamie Hendrickson
ASLA, LEED®A.P.

JHendrickson

Jamie graduated from the College of Architecture at Texas A&M University, earning her B.S. in Landscape Architecture, then moved to Colorado to begin her career. In 2003 she earned her LEED® Accreditation and had the opportunity to help design one of the first LEED® certified projects in Fort Collins. After working on many mixed-use developments which included park planning, Jamie made the jump into playgrounds in 2008. After nearly a decade as a sales consultant, collaborating in groundbreaking multigenerational and inclusive designs with landscape architects, 2016 presented a new, exciting role as a Play Advocate with Playworld. Jamie relishes this opportunity to focus on and share design trends that help create the most sustainable, inclusive and relevant play spaces possible…because design matters and the world needs play!

From college and through all her roles as a landscape architect, planner and vendor, local ASLA chapters have been an influential and pivotal part of networking and professional development. The opportunities ASLA provides are invaluable and Jamie is thrilled to be able to support and contribute to Oregon ASLA’s educational platform and spotlight great development happening throughout the state.

As Vice President, she looks forward to helping facilitate the meeting of minds, shaking of hands and sharing of ideas between landscape architects and design influencers.

Candidates for Secretary

Elizabeth Auvil

Elizabeth Auvil Head Shot
Elizabeth Auvil is a landscape designer and Portland native. Studying at the University of Oregon, Elizabeth received her Bachelor’s of Landscape Architecture in 2013. She currently works at Alta Planning + Design where her work ranges from trail design to bike share planning to wayfinding designs. Her latest project, Biketown, hits the streets of Portland in July.
The Oregon ASLA community is an amazing group of passionate and dedicated individuals and I deeply value the support we offer each other within our design community. ASLA contributed to my growth as an emerging professional and I want to enhance my involvement in ASLA as Secretary of the Executive Committee Board.

 

Brian Stuhr, ASLA
Mayer/Reed

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Brian Stuhr, ASLA, is a landscape architect at Mayer/Reed, a multi-disciplinary design studio in Portland, Oregon. Brian grew up in the Pacific NW. He studied anthropology at Willamette University and then graduated from the University of Colorado at Denver with master degrees in both landscape architecture and urban design. During his graduate studies, he volunteered with Americorps in post-Katrina New Orleans and as an ACE mentor in Denver. He was also associate editor and co-founder of ROOT, UC Denver’s student run design journal, which is now in its 7th year.

Brian began his design career in Hawai’i, where he worked at a medium sized landscape architecture firm. Believing that community service and teaching are important aspects of professional practice, Brian served for three years on the Hawai’i ASLA executive committee board as member-at-large and briefly as vice president. During his service with HASLA, Brian organized a lecture series and helped secure the keynote speaker for the 2013 annual meeting.

Brian loves observing people and the places they inhabit. Initially trained as a cultural anthropologist, he enjoys traveling and meeting new people. He also loves to draw. These traits, combined with a love of the outdoors and natural systems, led him to landscape architecture, “As designers, it is our job to dream; but it also our responsibility to apply our creativity to the big, system-wide challenges that our civilization will be required to solve moving forward.”

Brian hopes that his experience and passion, combined with his considerable note-taking ability, will make him a capable secretary and an asset to the Oregon ASLA executive committee board.

 

Jeb Doran, ASLA
TriMet

Jeb Doran

In the last 10 years, Jeb has helped enhance regional mobility by delivering transit projects for TriMet’s Capital Project’s and Construction Division. In his role as Senior Project Manager, he engages an array of stakeholders to address station area design, parking facilities, streetscapes, storm water enhancement, pedestrian and bicycle trails and amenities, natural area restoration, and safety enhancements, and their interface with the region’s public transit system.

“I am interested in taking an active role with Oregon ASLA as the Secretary of the Executive Committee.  As a transit advocate, I work to improve the functionality of urban transportation, providing safe and equitable access for all members of the community. As a Landscape Architect, I also see transit projects as a unique opportunity to transform places within our region, to knit together varied land uses in a manner that invigorates communities, preserves and enhances the character of our neighborhoods, revitalizes our environmental resources, improves quality of life and individual health, and supports economic growth for future generations.  As a member of the Executive Committee, I look forward to collaborating with the ASLA community, and continuing to expand our profession's impact on urban places and how we move between them.”

 

 

Candidate for Member-At-Large/Education Chair

Laura G. Turnbull, PLA, ASLA

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Prior to moving to Portland two years ago, I served the City of Lenexa, KS, for twelve years as Watershed Planner, which was preceded by three years in the Wyandotte/KCK Unified Government Planning Department. As a member of the Lenexa’s Watershed Division, I lead creation of initial education and outreach plans, development and application of regulations and ordinances, grant applications and administration, plans review for Watershed Division and private development projects, and CIP project management. As a 1996 MLA graduate of Kansas State University, I moved to the Kansas City metro area and became involved in the Prairie Gateway Chapter ASLA (PGASLA). I served on the PGASLA executive committee from 1997 – 2002, holding the positions of secretary, vice-president, and the chapter president sequence. Additional contributions include PGASLA Awards Banquet planning committee for three years, participation in Professional / Student events for KSU campus planning, service on several PGASLA Honor / Merit Award review committees, continuing education committee, and HALS representative. In addition, I participated on professional panels presenting water quality issues to students and as guest critic for student projects.

I currently serve on the ASLA OR Executive Committee as Interim Education Chair. If elected to the position of Education Chair, my top priority will be to complete the implementation of the Landscape Architecture Continuing Education System (LA/CES), for which I submitted the successful application in February of this year. LA/CES was initially implemented for the 2016 Symposium and we are now working to create a smooth approval and continuing education experience for all chapter sponsored educational events. Once implementation is complete, I intend to work with other interested members to create a program of education and outreach which will increase awareness and understanding of the profession to student populations. In addition, I believe licensure is vital to our profession and will be investigating LARE candidate needs and developing support systems.

I look forward to the opportunity to serve as Education Chair and ask for your support in the upcoming election. Thank you.

 

Candidates for Section Chairs: Mount Hood

Marianne Zarkin and Andrea Kuns

Marianne Zarkin-Andrea Kuns

Marianne Zarkin brings 25-years of landscape architecture experience to her role as Principal with Marianne Zarkin Landscape Architects. She founded the firm in 2006 to focus on the design of public spaces, and they have been involved in a rich diversity of projects including streetscapes, transit, schools, parks, and trails. Marianne earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Washington and a master’s from North Carolina State University.

Andrea Kuns is an Associate at Walker Macy with eight years of professional experience.  Andrea’s background in ecology and landscape architecture has led her to a diverse range of project types, including park and open space master planning, park design, waterfront redevelopment, mixed-use development, and cemetery design.  A graduate of Louisiana State University, Andrea came to Portland in 2008 from Baton Rouge and still roots for the LSU Tigers and longs for genuine Louisiana crawfish.

We met when we were on the ExCom in 2010-2012, and enjoyed working together organizing symposia and design awards events. We’d like to bring our organizational talents to the role of Mt Hood Section co-chairs, as well as our enthusiasm to accomplish the following goals: invigorate the landscape architecture community in our region and increase opportunities for ASLA members to earn PDH credits.


University of Oregon student team wins Cleantech Award

All team photo

Students’ prototype wins additional startup funding 
A team of UO landscape architecture students has been working on an agricultural water filtration
prototype since spring 2015.

A team of UO landscape architecture students has won additional startup funding for a water filtration prototype, this time $2,500 in the statewide Portland State University Cleantech Challenge and a chance at winning another $10,000 in September.

Earlier, the team won $10,000 in a global competition and the chance to compete for a $100,000 prize to be awarded in October. In a further show of team unity and largesse, one team member plans to use a separate, individual $15,000 scholarship stipend to further her team’s research.

Their project, “Penthouse Protozoa: The Living Filtration System,” is designed to trap excess fertilizer in agricultural fields where it’s gradually absorbed by plants rather than leaving fields as polluted runoff.  The team includes Wade Hanson, Casey Howard, Matt Jorgensen, Alison Lewis, and Krisztian Megyeri.

The students began their project in a spring 2015 class taught by UO Instructors Anne Godfrey and Emma Froh.

The PSU Cleantech Challenge, hosted by Portland State University, selected ten student teams from universities around Oregon to each receive $2,500 to develop prototypes of environmentally friendly inventions and compete for a grand prize of $10,000 to help bring their innovations to market.

Each finalist team in the Cleantech Challenge has also been matched with a business development mentor and provided workspace to refine their ideas and product for the final competition, at Oregon BEST FEST 2016  at Portland’s World Trade Center in September.
This is the first year the PSU Cleantech Challenge opened to schools statewide.

Howard, the sole undergraduate on the team, was awarded the 2016 National Olmsted Scholar Award and is using its $15,000 stipend to further her team’s research.

Last fall, the UO team won the $10,000 first-place prize and advancement to the final round of the Biomimicry Global Design Challenge, which asked participants to tackle any aspect of the food system that could be improved by looking to nature for design guidance. The final competition takes place in October in San Rafael, California, where teams will compete for the $100,000 Ray of Hope prize.

Story by Marti Gerdes


Comment Period Open for Proposed Dues Increase for Oregon ASLA

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ASLA’s Board of Trustees recently approved increasing membership dues for Full and Affiliate members by 5%. The dues increase will take effect in January 2017.

To follow suit, the Oregon Chapter’s Executive Committee has proposed increasing chapter dues for Full and Affiliate members by 5% from our current dues of $80/year to $85/year beginning in January 2017.

ASLA’s Board of Trustees also approved a new membership fee structure for Associate members, which will include a more graduated rate structure and will reduce membership fees overall for the first five years of membership.

To encourage emerging professionals to remain involved with ASLA, the Oregon Chapter’s Executive Committee is proposing that associate member chapter dues remain at their current rate of $45/year and not be increased.

The Oregon Chapter’s Executive Committee has also proposed that they will revisit chapter dues again in two years in June 2018, but not before.

Your comments on the proposed dues changes are welcomed and encouraged. The comment period will remain open for 45 days and the Executive Committee will vote on the proposed dues changes at their August 8, 2016 meeting.

If you have any questions, please contact Laurie Matthews at president@aslaoregon.org.


Victor Stanley Site Visit

Members of the Oregon Chapter of ASLA were recently invited by Victor Stanley, the site furnishings manufacturer, to visit Maryland and Washington D.C. for a long weekend of sightseeing, making new connections, and touring their two factories. Five Oregon Chapter members were joined by practitioners from Alaska and Seattle for this members only opportunity. Victor Stanley (as well as other companies) occasionally offer such trips where expenses are paid giving practitioners the opportunity to better know the company and the product. Sound boring? Not in the least. Smart, interesting people who view their surroundings through lenses both artful and technically astute surrounded and inspired us.

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Accompanied by one of the founders of Victor Stanley (with an acute interest in history), most of our time was spent touring Washington D.C. and Annapolis, Maryland. We visited Ford’s Theater, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Memorial, Vietnam Memorial, and the Naval Academy. While seeing these beautiful, but somber reminders of tremendous loss in our nation’s history, tour members admired the remarkable designers who imagined these spaces where people could gather with others and contemplate our past.

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ASLA tour members enjoyed getting to visit (or revisit) a part of the country so rich in historical events and most of all, an opportunity to connect to other people in a new way. Well done, Victor Stanley. Thanks for bringing the Oregon Chapter of the ASLA along on the adventure.

 


2016 OLCA/ASLA Golf Tournament

The 2016 OLCA/ASLA golf tournament was held on June 3 at the Langdon Farms Golf Club. The revamped tournament was well attended this year and took advantage of an early-morning tee time and fantastic summer weather. Over 120 contractors, architects and vendors donned their golf gear and participated in an 18-hole best ball scramble. A unique phone based scoring application provided real time scores for the tournament helping to heighten the competition.

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The tournament was followed by an awards ceremony and incredible lunch consisting of fried chicken and barbecue pork. Prizes were awarded to the top three finishing teams as well as closest to the pin and long drive participants. Awards were made to both men and women in each group.  Winners walked away with gift certificates for both meals and gear from Langdon Farms as well as bottles of wine and clothing from several generous sponsors.

Hole in One prizes (although none were given) included trips to resort destinations across the country and a new 2017 GMC truck.

IMG_5866The ASLA highlight of the tournament was the lunch time raffle that produced the lone winning landscape architect.  Tommy Solomon from 2 Ink Studio walked away with a brand new set of Nike irons. When asked if he was a golfer Solomon replied “I am now”!

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Emerging Professionals

Oregon ASLA recognizes that emerging professionals are the future of the profession and future leaders within ASLA.  Our Emerging Professionals Committee leads our efforts to bring programming to attract and involve our newest members and engage the interest of long-time professionals.

Frequent, engaging events encourage participants to foster relationships within the community of design-related fields, and the ASLA organization as a whole.  These positive experiences will help increase involvement in other aspects of ASLA, where emerging professionals can volunteer their time and energy, and remain engaged in ASLA throughout their careers. Get involved!

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Pop-up Events:

Events of this type could have educational value, provide networking/social opportunities, and/or provide community service.  Kinds of events might include a design charrette for a local non-profit, coordination with the John Yeon Center for a visit to The Shire, tours of current projects of note, or sketching the historic Halprin Sequence.

Networking + Social Events + Educational Opportunities:

Emerging professionals builds new friendships and makes professional contacts by engaging in a collaborative activity such as our interdisciplinary Trivia Group Event in partnership with emerging professionals groups from the Oregon Chapter of the American Planning Association (APA) and (WTS Portland, a professional organization focused on advancing women in transportation.

The new urban sketching groups,  SketchPDX, is a monthly meeting of Emerging Professionals and drawing enthusiasts created to have fun and learn from each other in a collaborative environment. 

SketchPDX: Eugene Road trip, our most recent event, attracted a mix of emerging professionals, landscape architects, students (both landscape architecture and architecture), and one (fine) Fellow (ASLA).  Together we enjoyed an inspiring afternoon of sketching, watercoloring and learning new drawing techniques.  Kenneth Helphand, FASLA, showed us a new way of interpreting place by applying a concept based on the definition of autochthonous – look it up, you’ll get it.

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Here’s how you can participate:

You don’t have to be an emerging professional of participate in any of our EP events.  They are open to all our members and to those thinking about joining ASLA.  Special guests with special skills will be invited to join us off and on throughout the year to share, teach and pass on new ways of drawing.  Watch for future sketchPDX events on the Oregon ASLA website, Newswire and your email. 

Have an idea for an event or a skill to share?  Contact EP Chair Patty Hines at ep@aslaoregon.org.

Winery