Installation view of Layover: New Work by Vanessa Renwick at The Art Gym in 2014.
Installation view of Layover: New Work by Vanessa Renwick at The Art Gym in 2014.
Installation view of Fernanda D’Agostino: The Method of Loci at The Art Gym in 2013.
Installation view of Fernanda D’Agostino: The Method of Loci at The Art Gym in 2013.

Marylhurst University transfers The Art Gym to the Portland Art Museum

The Art Gym, long located in a former gymnasium on Marylhurst University’s campus, will be transferred to the Portland Art Museum, the institutions jointly announced today.

“The Art Gym has opened up an opportunity for so many artists in our region, representing hundreds of emerging artists’ catalogs and presenting innovative, thought-provoking ideas to the community for 38 years,” said Marylhurst University President Melody Rose. “While Marylhurst University will formally close at the end of 2018, we’re thrilled that The Art Gym’s legacy will live on at the Portland Art Museum.”

The Art Gym, a non-collecting, nonprofit gallery, has built a reputation for showing up-and-coming artists from the Pacific Northwest in a historical building on Marylhurst’s campus. Its mission is to support a diverse group of artists working in experimental, thoughtful and critically engaged ways through exhibitions, performances and publications.

“I’m thrilled that the Portland Art Museum will continue The Art Gym’s work of increasing public understanding of the art of our region,” said The Art Gym co-founder Terri Hopkins, who led the gallery for 33 years before her retirement in 2013. “I believe the museum’s commitment to producing significant exhibitions for Oregon artists will prove important for our artists and the Museum, and I am happy that The Art Gym is helping make that future possible.”

Under the new agreement with Portland Art Museum, The Art Gym’s exhibit catalogs, historical documents, trademarks, proprietary rights and website will be transferred. The Art Gym archives will join more than 35,000 volumes of work in the Portland Art Museum’s Crumpacker Family Library and research center. The Library’s collection includes current and historical periodicals, art archives and resources specific to the Museum’s history and encyclopedic art collection. This agreement ensures that The Art Gym’s legacy will be available to researchers and artists throughout the Pacific Northwest for years to come.

“The Portland Art Museum is honored to preserve The Art Gym archives. As one of the foremost sources of information about the history of Oregon visual arts in Portland, our research center is well positioned to steward these important materials, and to ensure their access for many generations,” said Portland Art Museum Director Brian Ferriso. “Our curators also look forward to incorporating the vision of The Art Gym’s programming into exhibitions dedicated to Oregon artists.”

The Art Gym’s transfer marks the successful transition of yet another of Marylhurst’s programs since the University’s closure was announced last spring.

Previously, the University partnered with other institutions to transfer students as well as entire university programs, moving its food systems and society program to Oregon Health & Science University, art therapy program to Lewis & Clark College and music therapy program to Pacific University. While Marylhurst initially negotiated an agreement to transfer The Art Gym to the Oregon College of Art and Craft, that decision was terminated through a mutual agreement in the fall.

The Marylhurst Board of Trustees voted in May 2018 to close the university, and classes ended after the summer 2018 term. Since then, officials have been carrying out a formal closure process, and no staff will remain after December 31, 2018.