“Short Stories”

“Short Stories” is the title of a little show up at Bush Barn this month…well worth seeing.  Ross Sutherland (curator of Bush House) chose pieces reflecting the title “Inside Out/Outside In”, Kathy Dinges Rice (director of the Community Arts Education program of SAA) used the title “”Who We Are”, and Caroline Brooks (the new exhibition director at Bush Barn Art Center) “Behind the Scenes”…each chose a few things from the permanent collection highlighting the place and it’s history.


(This beautiful painting on the title wall is by Oregon painter Constance Fowler.)

The permanent collection, you might say?  Starting in 1953 there has been an active docent program at SAA called Gallery Guides.  This group has actively collected work from the many many shows that have been showcased at the Bush Barn Art Center over the years.  Some pieces have been purchased by the Gallery Guides, some pieces donated by the artist showing work, and some pieces have been donated to the collection outside of the exhibition program.  The collection includes 140 drawings, paintings and sculptures from Willamette Valley-related artists and is more inclusive than might be guessed.  Here are a few things that caught my eye…

Robert Colescott’s 1959 piece “Snow Scene” donated by the artist after his 1960 show.

Robert Colescott

As a result of this 1960 show at Bush Barn, Portland gallery owner Arlene Schnitzer (The Fountain Gallery) met Colescott and represented him as he left for California and established a national reputation.

Harry Widman

Here’s a lovely Harry Widman watercolor from 1960 of the Bush Barn and the park as seen from the servant’s quarters in the Bush House Museum.  The former servant’s quarters served as a caretakers’ residence from 1953-2005, and Widman and his family lived there as caretakers for a while in 1960.

Here is a Jack McLarty self portrait and a George Johanson portrait of McLarty of 1963…(painter Jack McLArty was one of the subjects of SAA’s excellent Preservation of Oregon’s Artistic Heritage film project spearheaded by then  exhibition director Sara Swanberg)…

Jack McLarty

George Johanson (1)

James Castle:

JAmes Castle

Myra Wiggins (Wiggins, a well-known Salem photographer, who moved to painting in her later years):

Myra Wiggins

Nancy Lindburg’s  “Three Peaches and a Bottle” or 2005 (Lindburg directed the Salem Art Association in the 1970’s before moving to the Oregon Arts Commission).

NAncy Lindburg

Salem artist of note Kristin Kuhns…an excellent painter but also a constructor of intriguing things…

Kristin Kuhns

and…my own piece of 2010 “White Moss Climber.”   I was the first Artist in Residence in the Community Arts Education program providing studio space for local artists.  It was an important 6 months for me during which I completed 50 works, some of which were on view in a 2010 spring show.  The studio is adjacent to the wonderful Bush Garden rose gardens and roses crept into much of my work that spring…

Bonnie Hull

On the sales side of the gallery I noticed this handsome Susan Trueblood Stuart watercolor…it’s for sale (!)…(ohhhh that pink!)

Susan Trueblood Stuart

So go for a walk in the park noticing the construction progress on the new Annex which will house the Community Arts Education program, new experimental gallery space, the artist in residence studio, a print making studio and an ELEVATOR!


and speaking of PINK…



  1. Actually Bonnie, most of these works were on show in the gallery last year. We had a lot of interest from our visitors. It makes a difference showing them en masse though. It is a delightful show.

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