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Monday 06.15.09

« Papergirl in Portland | Main | ArtSpark: Icebreaker »

Archer Gallery anounces new director

Over the years, the Archer Gallery has become one of the more daring college spaces in the metro area and I was saddened last year when Marjorie Hirsch made it clear it would be her last year as director. Her efforts like Ellen George's impressive solo show and the recent Considered Space put the Archer Gallery on the map... but there's always more room for a risk-taking and professional curatorial program as Portland's institutions continue to catch up to all the very worldly artists who have moved here in the past decade or so. I also wondered, what would the Archer be like without her?

We are about to find out, since Clark College has announced that the new Director for the Archer Gallery is Blake Shell. From their release:

"Blake is an artist, educator, and curator who moved to Portland in 2008. In addition to teaching at Clark College, Blake has also taught art at the Art Institute of Portland and several colleges in Arizona, as well as consulting for Gallery Homeland in Portland. She received a Master of Fine Arts in Photography at Savannah College of Art and Design and a Bachelor of Art from the University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee.

In her previous role as Gallery Director at the University of Arizona, Blake oversaw an ambitious schedule of contemporary visual arts programming, developed a gallery website, and created podcasts from the visiting artist lecture series. We are very excited about the new programming and new energy Blake will bring to the Archer Gallery.

Named for long-time faculty member Jim Archer, the Archer Gallery at Clark College has a rich history of dynamic visual art exhibitions showcasing contemporary Northwest artists. After 12 years, former Director Marjorie Hirsch is retiring, and leaves the gallery in a strong position to move forward and take advantage of the new ideas to come."

Overall, I've always seen curating at University galleries as a difficult mixed bag, serving a lot of different masters... while juggling vastly different audiences both on and off campus. We'll be anxious to see what Shell does but I can think of no better way for Clark College to engage Portland's large (for a city twice our size) and frequently internationally active art community. Good luck Blake, may you make the most of the opportunity.

Posted by Jeff Jahn on June 15, 2009 at 15:10 | Comments (1)


Thank you, Jeff. I am thrilled to be at Archer and look forward to the challenge of following Marjorie; she has done such a wonderful job.

Posted by: Blake [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 16, 2009 09:39 AM

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