The Hallie Ford Museum Features Royal Gay Nebeker's, "Dreams & Allusions," and Russell Childers', "Oregon Outsider"

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Russell Childers: Oregon Outsider

Russell Childers: Oregon Outsider opens July 30 in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art Study Gallery and continues through October 23, 2016. The exhibition is the first retrospective and largest exhibition to date of the work of self-taught Oregon woodcarver Russell Childers (1915-1998), who spent 38 years institutionalized at Fairview Hospital in Salem.

Salem Magazine: The Hallie Ford Museum: Russell ChildersCurated by the Hallie Ford Museum of Art collection curator, Jonathan Bucci, the exhibition presents 25 carvings. The works are largely autobiographical in nature and depict family, friends, historical figures and animals, as well as memories of Childers’ childhood home in Wasco County, Oregon; and his time at Fairview Hospital. Childers’ handmade tool chest will also be on view.

“We are thrilled to be able to organize this exhibition and bring this important research into the public domain, giving visitors an opportunity to get to know one of Oregon’s most important self-taught artists,” says Hallie Ford Museum of Art director John Olbrantz.

This exhibition will overlap with “Strange and Wonderful: American Folk Art from the Volkersz Collection,” opening September 17 and continuing through December 22, 2016 in the museum’s Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery. “Strange and Wonderful” features the work of 30 artists from across the US. Presenting the two exhibitions in tandem helps place Childers’ work within a larger outsider art framework.

Salem Magazine: The Hallie Ford Museum: Russell ChildersA 48-page full color hardcover catalog, titled Russell Childers: Oregon Outsider, includes an essay by Bucci, placing Childers’ work in the context of Oregon art history and within the greater outsider art movement. This catalog will be available in the Hallie Ford Museum of Art store by mid-September for $19.95.

Lenders to the exhibition include Willamette Valley Rehabilitation Center, Missoula Art Museum, Salem Art Association, Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Oregon Health Sciences University, and ten private collections from California, Oregon, and Washington.

This exhibition and accompanying catalog are made possible by general operating support grants from the City of Salem’s Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission, with additional funding provided by private individuals.

Royal Nebeker: Dreams & Allusions

Royal Gay Nebeker (February 22, 1945 – September 6, 2014) was an American painter and print maker born in San Francisco whose prints and paintings have been shown widely in Europe and North America including in Art Paris at the Louvre.

Salem Magazine: The Hallie Ford Museum: Royal Gay NebekerThe Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University will present a major retrospective exhibition of the work of Astoria, Oregon artist Royal Nebeker (American, 1945-2014). Organized by John Olbrantz, the Maribeth Collins Director, “Royal NebekeRP Q: Dreams and Allusions” features 36 paintings and prints drawn from public and private collections on the West Coast and opens June 4 and continues through August 28 in the Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery.

Nebeker was an accomplished Astoria, Oregon symbolist painter and teacher who created highly personalized narratives based on dreams and memories, often embellished with words and notations that helped drive his narrative.

Throughout his career, Nebeker focused on the human figure. His work was strongly influenced by the Norwegian painter Edvard Munch, the German Expressionists, and by the Vienna Secessionist artists Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and others. Although his early teachers in the United States and Norway encouraged him to embrace the tenets of Abstract Expressionism, he remained first and foremost a figurative artist throughout his life.

Salem Magazine: The Hallie Ford Museum: Royal Gay NebekerThe artist said of his work, “For me, this process of painting resembles looking through a night window. I peer out, observing and at the same time see the reflection of the interior conditions of my own reality. It is my intent that as the viewer peers into my painting he will not only see a visual record of meaning in my life but will discover the reflection of meaning in their own, as in a night window.”

Nebeker studied in California at the Claremont College and Otis Art Institute, and received a Masters of Fine Arts (MFA) at Brigham Young University in 1970. He then went on to complete a postgraduate degree, equivalent to an MFA, from the National School of Fine Arts in Oslo, Norway, in 1972. He taught at Clatsop Community College between 1974 and 2014 and served as an Oregon Arts Commissioner.

Nebeker’s paintings and prints have been featured in numerous solo and group exhibitions throughout the United States and Europe and is included in public and private collections in the United States, Norway, Germany, and Poland.

Salem Magazine: The Hallie Ford Museum: Royal Gay NebekerA variety of complimentary events accompany this exhibition. A conversation, moderated by John Olbrantz, on June 3 at 5 p.m. in the Paulus Lecture Hall at the Willamette University College of Law, will bring together a panel of family, friends and colleagues who will share recollections about Nebeker. A reception will follow at the Hallie Ford Museum of art between 6 and 8 p.m. (RSVP for the reception by calling: 503-370-6855). Explore the exhibition with museum docents during free Tuesday Gallery Talks that start at 12:30 p.m. on June 7, July 5 and August 2.

This exhibition is supported by general operating support grants from the City of Salem’s Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission.

Born in San Francisco in 1945 to a Norwegian mother and a Danish/Swiss father, Royal was always fascinated with Norwegian art, literature, language, and culture.

Over the years, Royal was the recipient of numerous awards and honors. He served as an artist in residence in Norway in 1972 and 1975 and was awarded a fellowship to live and work in Edvard Munch’s Oslo studio and research graphic art at the Munch Museum. At the invitation of the Norwegian Ministry of Culture in 2004, he received a residency and one-person exhibition. In addition, Royal received sabbatical and study grants to Japan and Germany and support grants for travel and exhibition from the Japan Foundation and Art Matters. His travels and exhibitions were further supported by the Western States Art Federation, the Oregon Arts Commission, and the National Art Galleries of Norway and Poland.

Salem Magazine: The Hallie Ford Museum: Royal Gay NebekerOregon's third largest art museum features works by Pacific Northwest and Native American artists, and includes a diverse collection of traditional European, American and Asian art, as well as artifacts that date from antiquity. Frequently changing exhibitions include lectures, special events, tours, artist demonstrations and educational opportunities for children and adults.

The museum is located at 700 State St. in Salem. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 to 5 p.m. The galleries are closed on Monday. General admission is $6, $4 for seniors and $3 for students 18 and older. Students 17 and under and children are admitted free. Admission is free for everyone on Tuesdays.

For more information call 503-370-6855 or visit: willamette.edu/go/hfma