Community, Pleasant Hill

Pleasant Hill traditional artist earns prestigious award

PLEASANT HILL — Gayle Oram of Pleasant Hill is one of five traditional artists in Oregon to receive a Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (TAAP) award. The stipend supports the artists in teaching traditional art forms to apprentices from their same cultural communities, Tribes, sacred, or occupational groups. 


Oram’s Norwegian Rosemåling painting career spans more than 30 years. Oram first encountered Rosemaling in 1977 in Petersburg, Alaska (a Norwegian fishing settlement with Rosemaling painted on the store fronts).  Over the years, Gayle has conducted seminars and local classes, and has published eight books about Rosemåling.

She holds a Master of Decorative Art certification through the Society of Decorative Painters and earned a Gold Medal in Rosemaling from Vesterheim Norwegian-American Museum. She hopes to write a ninth book about European flowers someday when time allows. Oram teaches Rosemaling to the general public from her home in Pleasant Hill.

Oram’s apprentice, Patti Jo Meshnik, of Eugene, was first introduced to Rosemåling in June of 1980 in Montana. Meshnik said she is eager to deepen her skills as a Rosemåler in efforts to preserve her Norwegian heritage. After this apprenticeship, she will continue the tradition by teaching Rosemåling classes.

The Traditional Arts Apprenticeship Program (TAAP) is one way the Oregon Folklife Network supports traditional artists, or Culture Keepers, in Oregon. The stipend supports mentor artists in sharing their knowledge, skills, and expertise with apprentices of great promise who will be empowered to carry on and strengthen Oregon’s living cultural traditions.

A state-level honor of great prestige, TAAP awards are often a precursor for traditional artists to be nominated for the National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship award. Funding for TAAP comes from the Oregon Arts Commission and the National Endowment for the Arts. Applications are accepted annually until October for funding in the following calendar year.

More info:



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos