The Art Gym, located in the old gymnasium of Marylhurst University’s historic 1929 building, has shown Northwest artists onsite at the private liberal arts college for 38 years.
Co-founder Terri Hopkins reckons its biggest contribution during that span was providing a mid-sized venue and exhibiting catalogs for hundreds of artists across the Northwest.
“No one was focused in a serious and academic way on the work being done by artists in the region. We decided that would be the right niche for us,” Hopkins said.
In addition to providing a big canvas for mid-career work by artists, the Art Gym also made curatorial opportunities possible. Former curator Blake Shell is now leading the North Portland art hub Disjecta, for example.
With Marylhurst University closing down at the end of the year, ending 125 years of operations, many feared the Art Gym’s days were numbered.
But the current curator, Ashley Stull Meyers, announced at a closing event Tuesday night the Art Gym has been adopted by the Oregon College of Art and Craft.
Some OCAC staff and faculty have shown work at the Art Gym over the years, including Emily Nachison, photographer Bobbi Woods and painter Michelle Ross.
In a written statement, OCAC President Denise Mullen said the Oregon College of Art and Craft is excited about the move: "We at OCAC are honored to continue the mission of The Art Gym from one storied Oregon institution to another."
The move is effective Aug. 1, 2018.