Gallery owner Elizabeth Leach is thrilled to be celebrating 30 years in Portland with “The Shape of The Problem.” This anniversary exhibition features 70 different artists — ranging from Matisse to up-and-coming cutting-edge artists — amongst three different venues.
When Leach first moved from San Francisco to Portland, she hoped to bring national and international art to the Rose City.
“When I opened there were four galleries and it was hard to find regional artists, so my whole idea was to bring art in from outside. Then I found a number of regional artists that I wanted to show within a context of national and international artists,” says Leach.
Leach also appreciates the impact of one of the current staples of the Portland art scene — First Thursday, which offers previews of new art exhibitions on the first Thursday of each month.
“We started First Thursday in 1986 and that helped a lot, taking the intimidation factor out of coming to the galleries,” explains Leach. “People aren’t afraid, they come to First Thursday, and they look and they learn. You want to come and look at art as much as possible because then you learn a lot.”
When she was just starting out 30 years ago, Leach didn’t anticipate that she could still be doing what she loves today.
“I’ve studied art history since I was 15,” says Leach. “You set these goals up for yourself — like wouldn’t it be great to show Matisse or Robert Raushenberg or Lee Kelly — and it happened, so it is exciting,” says Leach.
Elizabeth Leach Gallery, Pacific Northwest College of Art and Reed College are home to this extensive anniversary collection for the entire month of August. In September, the Elizabeth Leach Gallery will hold a smaller, condensed version of the anniversary show.
To find out more, visit the Elizabeth Leach Gallery website.