Updated September 29, 2018:
Since the closure decision in May, Marylhurst has strived to ensure the transfer of many unique programs to other colleges and universities, and we are pleased to have helped many students and staff find a safe landing at other institutions in the region. We had high hopes when we announced in July that The Art Gym had similarly found a new home at the Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC). This transfer, planned for Oct. 1, had been reviewed by Oregon’s Attorney General, a requirement of all program and asset transfers, and The Art Gym’s director and head preparator have been hard at work on the transition while engaging local artists in preparation for fall programming at OCAC.
It is with great sadness we must announce that after further analysis and extensive consideration, OCAC and Marylhurst have mutually agreed to terminate the transfer agreement. We are now focused on our employees, our donors and our supporters, and we will continue helping The Art Gym in its search for a new, stable home.
Original news release dated July 18, 2018:
Marylhurst University has announced that The Art Gym, a regionally renowned nonprofit arts venue operating on the Portland-area campus for decades, will move to the Oregon College of Art and Craft (OCAC) on Oct. 1. The transition will follow Marylhurst’s closure after the summer 2018 term.
“The Art Gym is nationally recognized as a vehicle for contemporary art practices in the Pacific Northwest as well as a beloved resource with a wonderful legacy on Marylhurst’s campus,” Marylhurst University President Melody Rose said. “We are pleased to have negotiated this agreement and look forward to seeing The Art Gym’s legacy continue when the Oregon College of Art and Craft takes over the nonprofit this fall.”
Over the past 38 years, The Art Gym has built a history of providing a springboard for regional artists to realize ambitious and experimental exhibitions and catalogs. The Art Gym was also the first gallery in the Pacific Northwest to be certified by the Working Artists and the Greater Economy (W.A.G.E.), an organization dedicated to establishing sustainable economic relationships between artists and the institutions that contract their labor.
Since becoming The Art Gym’s director and curator in 2017, Ashley Stull Meyers has focused on creating a platform for emerging artists and performers critically engaged in conversations around social politics and equity. Both Stull Meyers and the gallery’s current preparator, Kathleen Murney, will stay with the Art Gym when it moves. A complete set of The Art Gym’s exhibition catalogs, as well as various equipment and tools used for installation, will also be transferred to OCAC.
“Directing The Art Gym at Marylhurst University has been a tremendous privilege,” Stull Meyers said. “Although we are sad to leave this historic space behind, I very much look forward to continuing The Art Gym’s mission and legacy in Portland for years to come with OCAC’s invaluable support.”
Portland-based OCAC is a small, mentor-based institution known as a leading college of art and craft. The OCAC community is comprised of 150 students who pursue Bachelor of Fine Arts or Master of Fine Arts degree programs, in addition to the 2,500 students enrolled annually in youth and adult classes. Its mission includes fostering “self-reliant, entrepreneurial, globally conscious, critical and innovative makers.”
“We at OCAC are honored to continue the mission of The Art Gym from one storied Oregon institution to another. The stewardship that Marylhurst has provided The Art Gym has supported artists and enriched our region’s culture for many years,” OCAC President Denise Mullen said. “We are very excited to welcome The Art Gym to our campus.”
The Art Gym’s official moving date is Oct. 1. It is the latest in a string of announcements about successful negotiations to transfer Marylhurst programs to partner institutions following the University’s closure. Marylhurst’s art therapy program will be moving to Lewis & Clark College, its food systems & society program will be moving to Oregon Health and Science University and its music therapy program will be moving to Pacific University.
For additional information on these approved teach-out agreements, please visit: https://www.marylhurst.edu/closure/faq-students/. The Marylhurst Board of Trustees voted in May to close the University following the Summer 2018 term.
About The Art Gym
The Art Gym is nationally recognized as a vehicle for the contemporary art practices of the Pacific Northwest. Its ambitious exhibitions by emerging and established artists have created the standard for culturally significant art in our region, primarily focused on (but not limited to) the makerships of Oregon, Washington, British Columbia, and Alaska. Our mission is to support a diverse group of artists working in thoughtful, experimental, and critically engaged ways through exhibitions, performances, publications and adaptable opportunities for public engagement.
The Art Gym is a non-collecting, non-commercial arts venue that supports artists in creating ambitious and risk-taking projects at various stages in their careers. The diverse exhibitions and projects produced for The Art Gym provide a context for the region’s makership through public programs and catalogs that situate them among national conversations in contemporary art. Examples include the production of new bodies of work, group exhibitions that broaden and deepen connections for Pacific Northwest artists, and the presentation of installation or processed-based works that unfold over an a-typical duration.
Art Gym catalogs are one of the greatest historical records of contemporary art of the Pacific Northwest. Accessible to historians, students and the public, this body of knowledge contributes to an invaluable archive of ingenuity and craftsmanship throughout the region. In addition to producing custom printed catalogs for each exhibition, our website offers free downloads of all publications. The Art Gym is committed to making knowledge accessible and connecting artists and community. We host public receptions, lectures, forums, and tours led by professional artists, curators, and critics in order to create a platform for viewers to engage in discussions of contemporary art.
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Kara Hansen, 503.274.8886