Museum features paintings, prints from Willamette professor

SALEM, Ore. - A major mid-career exhibition by Willamette University Professor James B. Thompson will be on display April 11 through May 17 in the Atrium Gallery and Print Study Center at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art.

James B. Thompson: The Vanishing Landscape features paintings and prints and focuses on an important body of work the artist has been developing for some time that explores the transformation of the western U.S. Thompson holds a bachelor of arts degree from Ripon College in Wisconsin and a master of fine arts degree from Washington University in St. Louis. He has been on the art faculty at Willamette since 1986.

The exhibition will be accompanied by a 52-page monograph written by Henry M. Sayre, author, curator and distinguished professor of art at Oregon State University, Cascade Campus. The monograph will be distributed by the University of Washington Press, Seattle and London.

Once the exhibition closes in Salem, it will travel to venues throughout the western U.S. through 2011. Future venues include the Hoffman Gallery at the Oregon College of Art and Craft in Portland, the High Desert Museum in Bend, the Pendleton Center for the Arts, and the Morris Graves Museum of Art at the Humboldt Art Council in Eureka, Calif.

The exhibition has been supported with funds from the Hallie Ford Museum of Art Publication Fund, the Department of Art and Art History's Mark and Janeth Sponenburgh Endowment Fund, and College of Liberal Arts Dean's Office at Willamette University, and by grants from the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds, and the Oregon Arts Commission.

The Hallie Ford Museum of Art is located at 700 State St. (corner of State and Cottage streets) in downtown Salem near the campus of Willamette University. 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 Monday. Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for seniors and students. Children younger than 12 are admitted free, and Tuesday is an admission-free day. For more information, call (503) 370-6855.

Art critic Bob Hicks of The Oregonian recommended the exhibition, calling Thompson’s art “a considered and sophisticated grappling with matters of space, color and mark-making.” Read his review.