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CURRENT COLUMN

Visual Artists as Entrepreneurs and Marketers
September 2013
Visual Artists as Entrepreneurs and Marketers

Audain Art Museum
June 2013
Siting an Art Museum in a Forest

Gordon Smith Gallery
November 2012
Boosting the Profile of Artists for Kids

Equinox
September 2012
From glacial meltwater to contemporary art

Morris & Helen Belkin Gallery
June 2012
Professional curators of contemporary art were once as scarce as hen's teeth

Equinox Gallery
April 2012
Gallery owners have their eye on East Vancouver

Equinox Gallery
February 2012
Gallery owners have their eye on East Vancouver

Jacana Gallery
November 2011
Nothing is certain but death and taxes

Satellite Gallery
September 2011
Hope springs eternal


June 2011
The Hotel Waldorf
reimagined


April 2011
Education for the eye,
soul and mind


February 2011
Fine art inkjet prints
are here to stay


November 2010
SAAG endows the old
with new possibilities

September 2010

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Gallery Views

By ANN ROSENBERG

A Brilliant Conversion

In 1980, at Marylhurst University, a second storey sports arena and auditorium that was no longer in use, became the Art Gym. University publicity states that the conversion of the 1930s structure cost the grand sum of $1,500 cash and required 400 hours of sweat equity.

‘Ok, Ok!’ you’re thinking, that was a long time ago but surely even in those days, one couldn’t renovate a bathroom for that price with or without the help of freebees from tradesmen, in-kind building supplies and volunteer labour.

Art Gym

The Art Gym window at night

One thing that makes the Art Gym so remarkable is that it was, in truth, very economical to create. Its location in a building that was an integral part of a campus complex likely meant it was in good repair and equipped with proper plumbing and electricity – already a cost saver. Those who envisioned the tranformation realized that intelligent use could be made of already existing features, for example, high ceilings, walls that were typically uninterrupted by windows and an ample floor made of hardwood.

The 3,000-square-foot floor interior allowed the creation of a smaller gallery connected to a larger gallery. This simple arrangement afforded many possibilities for exhibiting single or group shows in a variety of media. Further opportunities were offered, especially for the display of sculpture, on the lawns and in the garden in front of the Art Gym.

The historic brick exterior was preserved. The almost floor to ceiling original windows grace the entrance wall of the facility. These prized aesthetic elements are included as part of the visual collage that announces Maryhurst University and the Art Gym’s website.

The genius of the conversion of the old auditorium and sports arena was seeing the potential in the old auditorium and gym and, while alterting as little was possisble achieving an art space that still functions admirably. This amazing act of creativity and insight can be attributed to the collective vision of the members of the Department of Art that brought the Art Gym into being, in particular its chairperson Kay Slusarenko and Terri M. Hopkins who was from the start and is still now the director/curator.

What will you see there? The Art Gym features carefully mounted surveys of important of important Pacific Northwest artists, often publishing catalogues of their work for the first time. It also presents conceptual, mind challenging installations like Diane Jacob’s 2005 Hairballs and the 2004 Trousseau by Linda Hutchins. How do you get there? Marylhurst’s Art Gym is located at 17600 Pacific Highway. in the city of Lake Oswego, about 15 minutes South of Portland, Oregon

Ann Rosenberg is a freelance curator, critic and author.

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