Reception heralds new art gallery spaces at WWU

Monday, December 17, 2012 - 10:53am

Western Washington University celebrated the opening of three new gallery spaces in the Performing Arts Center on Friday, Dec. 14.

Hosted by Western President Bruce Shepard and Dean Dan Guyette from the WWU College of Fine and Performing Arts, the ceremony featured a ribbon cutting and a brief program honoring Virginia Wright, whose generous gift made the renovation of the gallery spaces possible. Members of the Safeco Insurance Co. and the Washington Arts Consortium also were in attendance and recognized for their contributions toward the new galleries.

A recent gift of $250,000 from Seattle art patron Virginia Wright allowed the university to create new gallery spaces in the Mainstage and Concert Hall lobbies to display select pieces from its recently expanded collection of Northwest art, and to renovate a third existing gallery, which houses a rare collection of tapestries by Alexander Calder.

The new PAC Galleries highlight approximately 75 works of the 208 paintings, sculpture and works on paper acquired in 2010 from the joint gift of the Safeco Insurance Co. and the Washington Arts Consortium. Friday's celebration marked the debut of these works to the public in their new home at Western Washington University. Among the exhibited works are pieces by prominent Northwest artists Guy Anderson, Michael Daily, Richard Gilkey, Morris Graves, Paul Horiuchi, William Ivey, Lee Kelly, John Koenig, Alden Mason, Nancy Mee, Carl Morris and Frank Okada.