Gary Westford: Lifeline (phases of the moon)

May 4 – November 16, 2024

Study Gallery


Gary Westford (American, born 1947) is a Salem narrative painter and conceptual artist who explores environmental, social justice, and amendment rights issues in his work. Born in Oakland, California, he attended San Francisco State University and the University of California, Berkeley, where he received his BA and MA degrees, respectively. At Berkeley, he studied with figurative painters Joan Brown and Elmer Bischoff and was greatly influenced by the African American painter Robert Colescott. 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.

In recent years, Westford has focused on creating visual narratives that are both timeless and universal in their meaning while at the same time intersecting with current and ongoing social and political issues. “Gary Westford: Lifeline (phases of the moon)” features eight paintings created during the past six years. In these paintings the moon represents a significant compositional and metaphorical component of Westford’s narratives. The social and political events that unfold, take place under harvest, silver, blue, or full moons—the presence of the moon being a universal experience shared by nearly everyone on Earth. 


In addition to the works on display, the exhibition is accompanied by a complimentary full-color brochure written by Oregon ArtsWatch writer David Bates. 

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

Gallery Talk with Gary Westford 

Tuesday, July 9, 2024  |  12:30 p.m.
Hallie Ford Museum of Art 
Free and open to the public

Join Westford for a guided gallery talk exploring the Gary Westford: Lifeline (phases of the moon) exhibition.

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

Gary Westford, “The Raft (evening moon rising)” (detail), 2018-2023

Gary Westford, “The Raft (evening moon rising)” (detail), 2018-2023 1992

Related Links

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