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Norma Heyser’s Life in the Arts

Art alum Norma Heyser will be honored for her life's contributions to the art world on June 23, 2013 at the Hallie Ford Museum in Salem, Oregon.

Attendees will gather in the Roger Hull Lecture Hall to watch a video of Heyser's illustrated talk about her life as an artist and gallerist in Oregon and view her award-winning painting from the Oregon Centennial Exposition and Trade Fair of 1959 (on loan from a private collection).

The video screening at 2 p.m. will be followed by refreshments in the Maribeth Collins Lobby at 3 p.m.

Norma Heyser was born in Portland in 1933 and studied at the University of Oregon (1951-1953) where she studied with Andrew Vincent and David McCosh. Her studies continued at the Museum Art School (1953-1956) where she studied with William Givler and other notable Oregon artists. She earned a BA in Art from Marylhurst University in 1980.

In her early days as a painter, her work was inspired and influenced by Cubism while in the 1950s her work shifted into Abstract Expressionism. Heyser and her husband Ron Peterson both worked briefly at the Museum of Modern Art in New York City in the mid-1950s. In 1958 they returned to Portland and opened their New Gallery of Contemporary Art. This cutting-edge gallery featured the work of some of Portland's more experimental artists including Byron Gardner, Duane Zaloudek, Bonnie Bronson, Milton Wilson, Lee Kelly, Marlene Gabel, Joyce Britton, Louis Bunce, Don Sorensen, Manuel Izquierdo, and the Petersons themselves, among others. The gallery closed in 1962.

In the '60s and over the next several decades, Heyser became interested in installation and conceptual art and began to experiment with mixed media and other new art forms. Since 1982, Heyser has made several mixed media and collage pieces, as well as some ink drawings, but states that she "stopped making work for ecology reasons." Heyser went on to state that for her "art and social action are inseparable."

Read more about the event on the Hallie Ford Museum website

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