The Artist's Eye: Selections from the Gary Westford Collection

May 4 – November 16, 2024

Print Study Gallery


In the late 1970s, Westford moved to Oregon, where he began a long career as an arts educator at the Oregon State Penitentiary in Salem and at Linn-Benton Community College in Albany. As soon as he could afford it, he began to collect Northwest art. Among his earliest purchases were a series of lithographs of women by Portland artist Gregory Grenon in 1992. When he had the opportunity, he bought drawings and paintings by Oregon and mid-Willamette Valley artists, including Rick Bergeman, Rob Bibler, Louis Bunce, Suzanne Tellez Campbell, Claudia Cave, Carl Hall, Carol Hausser, Constance Fowler, Sandra Nichols, Arthur Rundquist, and Nelson Sandgren, among others.

Westford made his first donation to the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in 2001—a small drawing titled Harvest (Court Street) that he was inspired to make when he awoke one morning to see beautiful sunlight falling across his dining room table on an apple and a bag of walnuts a neighbor had given him. He made another single donation in 2017, followed by a major donation of thirty-seven objects in 2021 and twenty-seven more in 2022; most of these last two donations were psychedelic posters from the late 1960s and early ’70s from his world-class collection. 

Westford says, "I used to tell my students to collect what you love. My collecting sensibility has a very wide sweep, because I have spent a lifetime looking at, thinking about, and loving art in its many forms. In addition, there is the notion I have that collecting art honors its cultural past, as well as the countless artists who [over the centuries] addressed the important issues of their time."

Exhibition Related Events

Members/VIP Opening Reception

Saturday, June 8, 2024
6:00 - 8:00 p.m.
Hallie Ford Museum of Art

Members and invited guests only
New Members are welcome to join at the event or online

Or by phone at 503-370-6855 or by email at


Lecture with Gary Westford

Thursday, June 20, 2024  |  7:30 p.m.
Paulus Lecture Hall  |  Willamette University College of Law 
245 Winter St. SE | Salem, OR 97301
Free and open to the public

Financial Support

Financial support for this exhibition has been supported with funds from the HFMA Exhibition Fund and the Maribeth Collins Art Exhibition Fund; by advertising support from The Oregonian/Here is Oregon; and by general operating support grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission

Louis Bunce (American, 1907-1983), “Cove #2” (detail), 1947

Louis Bunce (American, 1907-1983), “Cove #2” (detail), 1947

Related Links

Image GalleryRelated EventsAbout the Collector Gary Westford

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