The opening of “What Needs to Be Said" at the Hallie Ford Museum. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Willamette University’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art opened to the public in 1998 and still serves as one of our best cultural destinations and tourist attractions. It houses some of the university’s historic and contemporary regional art, in addition to unique collections of Native American baskets given to early Methodist missionaries.

The gallery held a reception recently for the opening of its new exhibit: “What Needs to Be Said.” This features 13 contemporary Oregon artists who are recipients of the Hallie Ford Fellowships in the Visual Arts. This is given to artists living in Oregon and they qualify based on their accomplishments and potential.

There is no theme to the exhibit and each artist brings his or her own style, including everything from photography to printmaking. There is a large stack of blank books for guests to be part of the exhibit by writing whatever they personally feel needs to be said.

Museum staff members Leslie Whitaker, Jenny Stier and Elizabeth Garrison let me thumb through the exhibit guide and arts advocate Richard Harcourt and I visited at the counter.

Michael Hernandez, Tracy Torres and Carlee Wright attended the opening. Wright brought some copies of her new publication “Press Play.”

Museum Director John Olbranz and Anne Kubisch, president of the Ford Family Foundation, both spoke.  Kubisch thanked Olbranz for his guidance and gave him a “Fear No Art” hat that usually is only given to artists.

Hallie Ford was a tremendous philanthropist giving donations to the arts primarily in Oklahoma and Oregon. Her granddaughter Allyson Ford attended with Jere High

Along with the permanent collections at the museum, you could also enjoy Watercolors by Carol Hausser of Salem. 

The exhibit runs through Dec. 20 in the Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery.  Artists include Karl Burkheimer, Ben Buswell, Tannaz Farsi, MK Guth, Anya Kivarkis, Geraldine Ondrizek, Tom Prochaska, Wendy Red Star, Jack Ryan, Blair Saxon-Hill, Storm Tharp, Samantha Wall and Lynne Woods Turner.

You can also attend:  

Tuesday Gallery Talks with Museum Docents

What Needs to Be Said: Hallie Ford Fellows in the Visual Arts

Presented every Tuesday at 12:30 p.m., starting Oct. 1 and continuing through Dec. 17.  The free public tours will commence in the Maribeth Collins Lobby at the museum. https://willamette.edu/arts/hfma

Kasia Quillinan views art at the opening of “What Needs to Be Said” at the Hallie Ford Museum. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Jere High and Allyson Ford, Hallie Ford’s granddaughter, attend the opening of “What Needs to Be Said." (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Michael Hernandez, Tracy Torres and Carlee Wright attend the opening of “What Needs to Be Said.” (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Leslie Whitaker, Jenny Stier and Elizabeth Garrison of the Hallie Ford Museum staff attend the opening of “What Needs to Be Said.” (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Richard Harcourt attended the opening of the exhibit “What Needs to Be Said” at the Hallie Ford Museum. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Starting Oct. 1, special tours of the new exhibit at the Hallie Ford Museum will be available free to the public. (Mary Louise VanNatta/Special to Salem Reporter)

Mary Louise VanNatta is a Salem public relations professional writing a regular column for Salem Reporter. Tell her about your upcoming event at mlvg@prsalem.com or follow her on Facebook.