Byline: David Turner For The Register-Guard
Eugene soon will have a new major art museum, and it will be well worth the wait. The current renovation and expansion of the University of Oregon Museum of Art, which was endorsed and funded by the community, will create new opportunities for artists and art enthusiasts.
The renovation and expansion will allow the museum to present major loan exhibitions and display a much larger percentage of our growing collection. A new educational wing, complete with an interactive discovery gallery, an art-making studio and a lecture hall, will provide hands-on opportunities for visitors of all ages to experience and create art. New spaces for a retail store, cafe and private events can make the museum more of a public gathering place. The Eugene-Springfield area will become one of the premier sites in the nation in which a new museum will help bring a revitalized focus to the importance of the arts for its citizens and visitors.
We are fortunate to live in a community with such a strong pool of local talent, and we support the need to raise respect for artists. As we look to the future, we will strengthen our commitment to contemporary artists by creating new opportunities on our site. We plan to invite artists to show and sell artwork within the building's public spaces and to participate in artist-in-residency programs. The artists who view, discuss and gain inspiration from the artwork are one very important audience for our exhibitions.
A project of this magnitude, now more than halfway complete, could not be accomplished without temporarily closing the building. While it has been a challenge to continue our community outreach during the closure, we remain strong in our commitment to offer programs and events during this time. We share the goal of the entire arts community to exponentially expand the numbers of people who are involved in and exposed to the joy of the arts. We believe that the surest way to succeed in this mission is through unity and, therefore, would like to address concerns about the upcoming Artful Plate auction. …