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Terri Hopkins’ Vision Comes True

Terri Hopkins' thirty-three-year career as director of The Art Gym ends on a high note — a $1.25 million challenge grant from the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation.

Excerpt from an article by Cliff Newell in The Lake Oswego Review, October 17, 2013.

When Terri Hopkins first arrived at Marylhurst University to begin her duties as curator of The Art Gym, she was not anticipating an especially lengthy stay. Her longest stint among her previous jobs was two years.

That was 33 years ago.

She transformed what was really just an unused old gymnasium into a forum for some of the most remarkable and innovative art exhibitions in the Northwest.

Best of all, Hopkins is leaving on the highest note of her Marylhurst career. The announcement of her retirement in January 2014 coincided with the announcement that Marylhurst had received a record $1.25 million from the Robert and Mercedes Eichholz Foundation, which will endow the curator position for The Art Gym and Belluschi Pavilion.

Hopkins brought a background as an art teacher, a gallery director and a lobbyist for public art in Oregon. Her timing in coming to Marylhurst was excellent because the university was undergoing a major transition in the late 1970s from an all-girls Catholic school to a school where highly motivated students could improve their lives.

Upon arriving in 1980, Hopkins possessed a master's degree in art history, and she found she "really liked working with artists." She ended up producing more than 150 exhibitions at Marylhurst, as well as publishing hardcover books and pamphlets on the exhibitions. She constantly strived to promote artists of the Northwest.

"The key to a rich cultural life is to allow artists to live and work here," Hopkins said. "I wanted to be part of creating that. Art is not free. Artists need resources."

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The Art Gym is an integral part of Marylhurst's art program, which serves art and interior design majors, students preparing for graduate studies in art therapy, and interdisciplinary majors with a focus in art.

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