Over the past decade, the Friesen Gallery at Northwest Nazarene University (NNU) has become a major player in the Treasure Valley gallery scene. The upstanding status of the space and the accompanying exhibitions are due in part to NNU's Gallery Director and Assistant Professor of Drawing and Painting Amanda Hamilton.
For a small, private school with limited art purchasing funds, Hamilton has grown NNU's permanent collection in unique ways.
"In the past five years I have established the Friesen Permanent Print Collection. Prints seem an obvious choice to create a high-quality collection with breadth for the funds we have available," explained Hamilton. "I researched and acquired over 30 works to create a museum-quality print collection that varies in print process and includes both abstract and representational works."
Several stellar Northwest contemporary artists are represented in the collection, including Vija Celmins, Ellsworth Kelly, William Kentridge, Elizabeth Murray, Roger Shimomura and Darren Waterston. Hamilton is currently collaborating with Seattle Pacific University to write and design a color catalog for NNU's print collection.
Hamilton has also worked to enrich the sculpture collection. It now contains roughly 30 pieces of pottery, bronze cast sculpture, glass work and carved wood.
"Our focus in the last few years has been to acquire multiple works by a single artist in the interest of presenting a rich view of their work. We have collected a number of pieces by Seattle artist Julie Speidel," said Hamilton.
Several of these sculptures are on view in the permanent collection gallery in an exhibit that opened September of 2010 and will run through spring 2012.
"In the permanent collection space, the shows will stay up for three to four semesters. It's treated as a bit of a museum space or teaching collection," Hamilton said. "A longer show enables the campus community to return and reflect on the works over time."
The Friesen Gallery also includes a rotating temporary exhibition space, allowing for changing shows by local, visiting and student artists.
The Friesen Gallery is located in the Brandt Performing Arts Center on the NNU campus at 623 Holly St. in Nampa. Works are available to view Mon.-Fri., 9 a.m.-5 p.m. For more information, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or visit nnuart.com.