Unconventional Art - Unconventional Spaces
The mission of the Oregon Fringe Festival is to connect students and the community through the contemporary arts. By providing a platform for the expression of self, we work to create an inclusive space for education and nourishing open perspectives.
The Oregon Fringe Festival (OFF) is a boundary-breaking platform for artists creating unconventional work in unconventional spaces. A celebration of zany, alternative forms, OFF is an opportunity for artists to experiment with forms not found in the traditional gallery and theatre spaces. OFF welcomes bold work from courageous young creators.
Established in 2014, OFF is produced by a fresh group of diverse SOU students each year.
The Oregon Fringe Festival at Southern Oregon University differs slightly in that it incorporates fine and visual arts alongside performing arts.
In 2014, the OFF featured beat-boxing juggler Bronkar as the headliner, alongside performances by student musicians and theater majors. For 2015 the OFF went “Underground” with its theme, featuring Portland-based clown Jacob Mooney.
The 2015 festival saw performances taking place across the SOU campus and city of Ashland: an unannounced midday percussion performance in Lithia Park was well received, and an interpretation of “Metamorphosis” was performed at Emigrant Lake, utilizing the lake as a part of the stage. OFF ‘15 also featured more visual art, including interactive sculpture and an “Art Fair” where SOU art students set up a pop-up gallery outside of the Schneider Museum of Art.
The 2016 OFF centered around the SOU campus theme of “The New New,” with a mission of “Exploring new realities through artistic experiences.” This iteration of the festival featured original works of art, music, theatre, and movement with main events included a silent flash-mob, singing crystal bowls, a rap show garage sale, two blocks of theatre performances, installation art, and more.
In 2017, the OFF aligned with the campus theme "Shapes of Curiosity". This most recent festival excitedly hosted the renowned composer Mark Applebaum, Ph.D. (Edith & Leland Smith Professor of Composition at Stanford University) and James Del Prince (educator, floral designer, speaker, and author). With a group of local musicians, a dynamic composition of sound and percussion written by Applebaum was performed while DelPrince arranged floral compositions throughout the stage, responding to the piece as it progressed.
The 2017 festival also provided opportunity for SOU students across majors to collaborate together creating a completely original and emotional interdisciplinary stage performance titled Monsters. This production was directed by James Donlon, renowned movement and acting educator and former SOU professor.
In addition to the headlining acts, a myriad of student-directed works were performed in multiple unconventional locations at SOU bringing the art to the audience! Five unique art exhibitions were displayed in the Center for the Visual Arts Galleries (feat. 30 years of theater mask-making, Ka'ila Farrell-Smith (Klamath-Modoc visual artist), student artists, and more) as well as art installations across campus.