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, reports the Lake Oswego Review.
Terri Hopkins, director and curator of The Art Gym, was recently interviewed by Oregon Arts Watch. The article focused on her contributions to The Art Gym over the past 33 years.
Excerpt from an article by Barry Johnson on OregonArtWatch.org, August 31, 2013.
As director and curator of Marylhurst University's Art Gym, Terri Hopkins has followed the development of artists attentively in the Portland area since she founded the gallery with Paul Sutinen and Kay Slusarenko in 1980.
Slusarenko first imagined that a massive storage space, once used as a gym and a theater, in the Marylhurst administration building could better serve as an exhibition space for art, and according to Hopkins, talked the administration into giving it to the art department. At the time, Hopkins was Slusarenko's assistant, hired in 1978, after studying art history (and playing the cello) at Oberlin College.
"We felt we could do a regional exhibition program well," Hopkins said. "This is where we are; no one was doing it the way we could do it — carefully curated with publications."
The set of publications she produced provides a fabulous, ongoing record of artists here the past three decades, all available digitally.
Five years ago, Hopkins told administrators at Marylhurst that she was thinking about retiring, and at that point they would have to decide whether to continue The Art Gym or close it down. If they chose to continue it, she thought her position needed to be endowed for the long term and made full-time.
The check came from the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation: a $250,000 gift outright, and a $1 million matching gift, distributed over four years, which gives the university time to match. The gift is the largest Marylhurst has ever received from a foundation.
In the press release, Michael Davidson of the Eichholz Foundation explained the gift this way: "It is our hope that this grant will honor Terri Hopkins' life's work and will allow The Art Gym to continue to be a powerful force in the arts of Portland and the entire Pacific Northwest."
The Art Gym, under supervision of director and curator Terri Hopkins, has shown the work of more than 300 artists, produced more than 60 exhibition catalogs, and sponsored numerous artist roundtables and public forums. The Art Gym was awarded the Governor's Arts Award in 2004-2005.