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Art Gym turns 35

n Gallery exhibits some of the most significant art of the region

SUBMITTED PHOTO - On display is Ben Buswell's exhibit titled  I Do Not Belong to the Sky.

For The Review, Tidings

This fall marks the 35th year of Marylhurst University’s The Art Gym as a venue exhibiting some of the most significant and timely art of the region. The gallery is in the process of strategic growth through a five-year plan focused on sustainability of the gallery, standardization of wages for artists, increased catalogue production for artists, completion of renovation, and new piloted programming.

As part of the plan The Art Gym will be one of the Pacific Northwest’s first Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.) voluntarily certified organizations, (with certification pending fiscal year 2015-16), implementing standardized wages for artists, including honorariums for exhibiting and support for art production.

Marylhurst University will match a $1 million challenge grant from The Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation by 2019, to endow the director and curator positions to increase to full time in perpetuity. All contributed funds to The Art Gym during this time are matched by the foundation into the endowment, so donations are automatically doubled in support of the gallery.

“At this point, we have raised $350,000 towards the match, through individual donations, programming and operating grants and the recent The Collins Foundation grant of $125,000 to be distributed over two years,” said Blake Shell, the Eichholz Foundation director and curator of The Art Gym and Belluschi Pavilion. “This grant will support five-year plan goals including completion of capital needs, capacity building and enhanced programming.”

Shell is also an artist with more than 12 years of experience in directing nonprofit and educational galleries.

SUBMITTED PHOTO - Kathleen Murney

As part of The Collins Foundation Grant, Kathleen Murney was hired as the new gallery manager and head preparator in July 2015. She has been the contracted head preparatory for The Art Gym for the past year. She is an artist who has taught courses at a number of higher education institutions in the region and has worked at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon as an assistant preparator.

Since 1980, The Art Gym has been recognized as a venue that exhibits some of the most significant and timely art of this region. The mission of the gallery is to increase public understanding of the contemporary art of the Pacific Northwest through exhibitions, artists’ projects, publications and public engagement.

The Art Gym is a non-collecting, non-commercial gallery that supports artists in creating ambitious, risk-taking projects at various stages in their careers. As an art space working within an academic venue, the staff is committed to providing artistic and intellectual freedom. The Art Gym’s catalogues continue to be among the greatest records of the contemporary art history of the Pacific Northwest, contributing to the discourse on contemporary art and representing the region.

The Art Gym is free and open to the public noon-4 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. The gallery is located on the third floor of the BP John Administration Building on the Marylhurst University campus, 17600 Pacific Highway.

For class visits and special tours of The Art Gym, email Shell at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..