Ben Buswell (b. 1974 in Dallas, Oregon) is an artist based in Portland, Oregon. Buswell's sculptural work spans diverse media, encompassing ceramics, metals, resins, incised photographs and more. He subjects these materials to physical processes (such as scratching, piercing, melting and tearing) wherein the of accumulation small, repetitive gestures build into a complex whole.

Buswell received his MFA from the University of Wisconsin at Madison and BFA from Oregon State University. Buswell is a Hallie Ford Fellow in the Visual Arts (2015) and a two-time recipient of the Career Opportunity Grant from the Oregon Arts Commission and Ford Family Foundation (2014 and 2011). In 2018, Buswell received an Individual Artist Fellowship from the Oregon Arts Commission. In addition to Upfor, notable solo exhibitions include Samuel Freeman in Los Angeles, CoCA Seattle, The Art Gym at Marylhurst University and TILT Gallery and Project Space in Portland. His work has been included in Portland2012: A Biennial of Contemporary Art presented by Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, and The Oregon Biennial at the Portland Art Museum (2006). Collections that house his work include that of Jan and Patricia de Bont and the public collections at The Portland Art Museum, Portland Community College, Western Oregon University, The University of Oregon, and the Collaborative Life Sciences Building at Oregon Health and Science University.



b. 1974 in Dallas, OR. Lives and works in Portland, OR.


MFA – University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 2005

MA – University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI, 2004

BFA (cum laude) – Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR, 2001


2018    Untitled Miami (with Kelly Johnson), presented by Upfor, Miami, FL

Veneers, SFCC, Spokane WA

            PHOTOFAIRS, presented by Upfor, San Francisco, CA (forthcoming)

2017    The Story is Not the Story, Upfor, Portland, OR

2016    Ben Buswell, Samuel Freeman Gallery, Los Angeles, CA

            No Sky, Fairbanks Gallery, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

2015    No One Above or Below, Upfor, Portland, OR

            I Do Not Belong to the Sky, Marylhurst Art Gym, Lake Oswego, OR

2014    We Live Only Through Ourselves, Upfor, Portland, OR

2013    Projector, CoCA, Belltown Gallery, Seattle, WA

2010    The Shadow and the Willing, Helzer Gallery, PCC Rock Creek, Portland, OR

2008    TENNESSEE, TILT Gallery  & Project Space, Portland, OR


2019 What Needs to be Said, Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts, (c. Diana Nawi), traveling

In Residence- Portland, Bullseye Projects, Portland, OR

2018 Sit on It, Furthermore, Portland, OR

            Now We Are Five, Upfor, Portland, OR

2017    Totality, Fairbanks Gallery, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

2016    Photography and Contemporary Experience, Portland Art Museum, OR

            BAM Biennial, Bellevue Art Museum, Bellevue, WA

            Salon: Portland2016, The Studio Visits, Portland2016: A Biennial of Contemporary Art,

           (c.  Michelle Grabner), Disjecta Contemporary Art Center, Portland, OR

            Heptadecagon: SOIL Invitational, SOIL Gallery, Seattle, WA

2015   The Great Debate About Art, Upfor, Portland, OR

            The Great Debate About Art, envoy enterprises, New York, NY

            Paris Photo Los Angeles, presented by Upfor, Los Angeles, CA

            The Sum of its Parts, Jeffrey Thomas Fine Art, Portland, OR

2014    Art LA Contemporary Art Fair, exhibiting with Upfor, Santa Monica, CA

2013    Off the Plain, PLACE, Portland, OR (c. TJ Norris)

2012    Selections from Portland2012, The Schneider Museum of Art, Ashland, OR

            Portland2012: A Biennial of Contemporary Art, Disjecta, Portland, OR (c. Prudence  Roberts)

            CoCA Annual, CoCA Seattle, Georgetown Gallery, Seattle, WA (juror: MK Guth)

            Co/Lab, LA Art Platform, exhibiting with TILT Export:, Los Angeles, CA

2011    TILT Export: Impostor, RAID Projects, Los Angeles, CA

            Portland Exchange, Littman Gallery, Portland State University, Portland, OR (invitational)

2010    Under 100, No. 2 Print Shop, Portland, OR

2009    WORD, Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, Portland, OR

            Digital Ritual, Open Concept Gallery, Allendale,  MI

           Considered Space, Archer Gallery, Clark College, Vancouver, WA

           GBR V, Los Angeles, CA; Chicago, IL and Portland, OR venues

2008   little paper cuts, Fivepoints Arthouse, San Francisco, CA

           Static/Flux, Portland State University, Portland, OR (juried)

           64 Down, Fivepoints Arthouse, San Francisco, CA

2007   TILT Export: In Season, Studio Gallery, Linfield College, McMinnville, OR

            Pacific Northwest Sculpture Exhibition, Lane Community College, Eugene, OR (invitational)

            Palace, Alexander Gallery, Oregon City, OR (invitational, as Third Thing Project

2006    Oregon Biennial, Portland Art Museum, Portland, OR (c. Jennifer Gatley)

2005    Coming Back (MFA Exhibition), Commonwealth Gallery, Madison, WI

           Think Tank, Overture Center for the Arts, Madison, WI (juried)

            Over Oceans, Through the Air, Beyond All Barriers, Ironworks, Madison, WI (juried)

2004    Draw Drawing, Gallery 32, London, UK

            Apathy is a Six-Letter Word, Red Rocket Gallery, Chicago, IL

            This Will Kill That (MA Exhibition), Seventh Floor Gallery, Madison, WI

            Citation, Seventh Floor Gallery, Madison, WI (juried)

2003   Centro Oestes, Museu de Arte de Brasília and Casa de Thomas Jefferson, Brazil (juried)

            Outdoor Sculpture Invitational, UW Sheboygan, Sheboygan, WI (invitational)

2002   What’s the Big Idea, Seventh Floor Gallery, Madison, WI

2000   The Next Generation, Northwest Print Council, Portland, OR (juried)


2018    Individual Artist Fellowship, Oregon Arts Commission, OR

           Visiting Artist, Spokane Falls Community College, Spokane, WA

2017    Bullseye Residency, Bullseye Glass Company, Portland, OR

            Visiting Artist, Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI

2015    Hallie Ford Fellowship in the Visual Arts, The Ford Family Foundation, OR

            Golden Spot Artist Residency, Oregon College of Art and Craft, OR

            Individual Project Grant for Visual Art, Regional Arts and Culture Council, OR

2014    Career Opportunity Grant, Oregon Arts Commission and the Ford Family Foundation, OR Visiting Instructor,

            Anderson Ranch Arts Center, Snowmass Village, CO

            Guest Artist, OCAC/PNCA Applied Craft & Design Program, Portland, OR

2013    Visiting Artist, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

           Visiting Artist, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA

           Oregon Arts Commission Visual Ecology Project, Portland, OR

2012   Honorable Mention (awarded solo exhibition), 23rd CoCA Annual, Seattle, WA Visiting Artist,

           Visiting Artist, The Schneider Museum, Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR

2011   Career Opportunity Grant, Oregon Arts Commission and the Ford Family Foundation

          Selection Committee Member, Oregon Arts Commission Public Art Project, John Day, OR

2010   Nominee, Contemporary Northwest Art Awards, Portland Art Museum, OR

2008   Visiting Artist, Western Washington University, Bellingham, WA


Leah Ollman, “Review: Ben Buswell’s photographs look like drawings and act like sculpture,” Los Angeles Times, April 22, 2016.  (Online.)

Alicia Eler, “Water Watcher: Seeking the Substance That Makes Us Human”, CraveOnline, May 19, 2015.  (Online.)

Josephine Zarkovich, “Buswell @ Upfor”, 60 Inch Center, May 7, 2015.  (Online.)

John Motley, “Ben Buswell’s photos at Upfor Contemporary Art reveal the artist negotiating with the passage of time”, The Oregonian, Jan. 8, 2014.  (Print, online.)

Joseph  Gallivan, Art Focus, KBOO Radio, Portland, OR (interview), Dec. 10, 2013. MK Guth, 23rd Annual Exhibition, CoCA Seattle (catalog), 2013.

John Rossman, “Disjecta’s Portland Biennial”, OPB Arts and Life,, March 2, 2012.

Jennifer Gatley, “With Fresh Eyes”, Oregon Biennial 2006 (catalog), October 2006.


Oregon Arts Commission Percent For Art, Western Oregon University Student Health and Counseling Building, Monmouth, OR

Portland Art Museum, Permanent Photography Collection, Portland, OR

Regional Arts and Culture Council Portable Works Collection

The University of Oregon, portable works collection, Eugene, OR

DW Fritz Automation, Willsonville, OR (private commission)

Oregon Arts Commission Percent For Art, OHSU Collaborative Life Sciences Building

Portland Community College, Rock Creek Campus

Jan and Patricia de Bont (private)

Arthur E. Chambers, Jr. (private)