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Arts & Culture
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What Is The State Of The Visual Arts In Eugene And What Is The Future?

Recorded on: March 25th, 2016

Air Date: March 28th, 2016

Moderator: Otto Poticha, Architect

Panelists:

  • Libby Unthank Tower, artist and chair of the Oregon Arts Commission
  • Charly Swing, artist and director of ArtCity, a multi-disciplinary artists’ studio community
  • Miriam Alexis Jordan, former board member of Jacobs Gallery, Lane Arts Council, DIVA, and former member of City of Eugene Cultural Services Advisory Committee
  • Tina Rinaldi, managing director of University of Oregon Arts & Administration Program

First Questioner:  Fred Crafts, Eugene’s Ambassador for the Arts
Coordinators: Randy Prince and Sandra Bishop

Participants will discuss their perception that community support for the visual arts has declined in the past few years.  Although the visual arts document and reflect our culture, Eugene is one of the largest cities in the US without a publically supported or endowed art museum and visual arts center. They will raise several challenging questions: As a community, are we willing and able to prioritize and support the visual arts as we support the performing arts? Will we continue to rely on the University’s museum as our only art museum? Given their particular missions and priorities, are the UO and private galleries within the city sufficient to display art reflecting the full range of Eugene’s community and culture?

Citizens and city government worked together to build the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, which now presents a full schedule of music, theater, and dance performances. The Hult Center also housed the Jacobs Gallery, the only publically supported venue for the visual arts. A partnership between the City and a private non-profit kept the Jacobs going for 18 years, until it abruptly closed in January 2016.

This discussion will characterize the community’s loss in closing the Jacobs Gallery and begin planning a remedy.  When the world comes to Eugene in 2021 to see amazing athletes, how can we ensure they will also find public displays of our amazing artists?

copyright, 2016 KLCC