Stras(s)el Farm Retreat and Artist Residency

Strassel Farm is located between the gorgeous Oregon Coast and the Portland metropolitan area on HWY 26. The property consists of 55 acres of privately preserved wilderness and 25 acres of active farmland. It is adjacent to Tillamook State Forest on the western slope of the Cascade mountains. 

Approximately 2200 Tillamook people thrived in the area and along the coast until the early 1800s when the European migration introduced new, infectious diseases to the ecosystem, reducing their population to 200. In 1898 the Tillamook became the first tribe to sue the US government for compensation for the lands they had taken. In 1907, along with two other tribes, they were awarded $23,500.


Swiss German midwife, Mary Strasel, arrived as a single mother of three children in the 1880's and was granted claim to the land by Theodore Roosevelt in 1908. The main house and barn studio were built in 1905 after the Tillamook Burn destroyed the first dwelling. 


The land has remained almost completely unchanged since the early 1900's and has been privately shared by a family of farmers, scientists, writers and artists for the past 4 generations.

Faced with a new set of political, social, and economic conditions, The Stras(s)el Retreat and Artist Residency Program is conceived with a vision of the farm as an open and adaptive space to make art for the 21st Century based on local living systems- economic, social, and cultural.

The land is currently under the stewardship of sculptor, Robert Chambers, Mary Strasel’s 4th generation grandson and Danish painter, Mette Tommerup. The residency project is directed by their friend and colleague, Felecia Chizuko Carlisle. All three artists practice in association with Emerson Dorsch, a prominent contemporary art gallery in Miami, FL.

Stras(s)el Retreat and Artist Residency Program goals are


  • to share the work in preserving and protecting the land 

  • to discover, record, and interpret its broad history 

  • to use it for artistic, regenerative and holistic purposes

  • to create a long-term sustainability plan based on what is learned through practice and inquiry

Artist in Residence 2019-2021

Jordan Rosenblum, MFA candidate at Portland State University Art and Social Practice Program, is an artist, designer, and educator. He employs non-traditional research and social engagement strategies to explore possibilities for fostering community connection and resilience.

Jordan has held positions as a book designer, creative director for a tech start-up, and independent content strategist serving clients including HarperCollins, The Tribune Companies, Random House, and numerous non-profits and small businesses. He has worked in small-scale agriculture and as the coordinator for the International Rescue Committee’s New Roots Community Farm in the Bronx. Jordan has facilitated workshops exploring mindfulness and creativity, the relationship between personal ancestry and our shared future, and the impact of personal narrative in group decision making. He teaches as an adjunct instructor of design at Portland State University.

Jordan’s work is guided by a deep curiosity with how people communicate through social interaction and collaboration, and how art and design can serve as tools for deepening understandings of ourselves and our world.