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
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
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.
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.