M.K. Guth at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art

The installation “MKGuth: Paying Attention” opened last night at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art in Salem, and runs until April 1, 2018, giving you plenty of time to get over and take a look at a show that is fascinating on many levels.  The opening featured Guth herself and a host of other readers…students, faculty (the Hallie Ford after all IS a university museum) standing or walking through the large crowd gathered for the opening.  The materials they were reading in the performative installation called “Choreography for Reading Aloud” were materials drawn from the wonderful Pacific Northwest Artists Archive (Archivist Mary McRobinson was one of the readers) and from the archive of political papers also held by the University Archives.  It was a stunning moment for me because as a long-time member of this community there was so much “context” as I watched and listened and read.  Each viewer brings her or his own context of course, but mine is deep and the evening was moving.  Here were some of the readers…(the reader on the right is a writer with whom I shared studio space many years ago)…

I came upon artist Cayla Skillin-Brauchle (now teaching in the department where Roger Hull taught for 40 years)

and she was reading from the Norma Paulus political papers…when next I looked up there was Paulus’ son Fritz and grandson Will listening to the reading…(with R standing behind…btw)

also on view were some notebooks and letters from Norma Paulus’ long career in Oregon State Government (legislator, Secretary of State, first woman to run for governor).

All throughout the readers and listeners were papers and other items Guth culled from the PNAA and the other university archives…

here journal entries from Chloe Clark Willson from 1839-40,  Willson was the first university teacher…

Here part of the varied archival material from artist/writer Rex Amos…

from artist Eunice Parsons…

Here’s a piece from the 1980’s art magazine “Rebeat” written and published by Salem artists Sandra Nichols (Sloy)and her husband Dave Nichols (Nic)

and Sandra was on hand (on the right)…chatting with one of her “readers”…

Sandra (Sloy) and her husband Dave (Nic) have a great show upstairs in the museum (Nicandsloy) up until January 28th…hurry and don’t miss it…

and here’s Roger Hull, who came up with the idea of the PNAA in the beginning, standing in front of a photo of artist M.K.Guth.

Additionally there are shelves with displays of items…”Dinner Parties” with suggestions for food, reading, the activity for the evening.   There is NO doubt that we’ll be giving a dinner party in the next month or two…

Throughout the run of the show there will be performative readings, and the artist herself will be speaking this coming Thursday, January 25th, at 7:30 in the Paulus Lecture Hall.

You can also add your comments, a drawing (me) or whatever into these volumes.  This installation has been in NYC, at Reed College (Guth is Portland-based) etc…each time with the installed materials culled from each hosting institution.  Better go have a look…





  1. bonnie, thank you for posting your take on the MK Guth reception and opening at HFMA. you are always on the job and keenly observing and then sharing with us your take in pictures and words. excellent blog post. we want to go back and look again at this exhibition. all that cacophony. all those choices MK selected from the PNAA. and the opening night’s large crowd. another wonderful evening from the world of art in salem, oregon.

    1. Nicandsloy…quite the art week indeed. There are four more readings scheduled…I hope to get to them. Thanks for the positive remarks. I love shows.work.installations that amplify and illuminate THIS place…yours, hers….it’s good.

  2. I am always amazed at what goes on in the art world. Don’t really understand all of what I see but I get excited by all the buzz You let people get a glimpse of art up close and personal. Thank you. Love from the frozen Midwest. MEM

    1. Memsie…every place (large and small) has some worth and the shows here lately have underscored what is individual and interesting about this place…very refreshing and nice. I like what you said about maybe not understanding everything, but finding it exciting. Seeing and understanding ARE often different I think, you are right…and often seeing is enough. xo to the frozen you…50 and raining here today…the hellebores and camellias are blooming and it’s time to cut the ferns down. This place is an amazing garden spot, I have to say.

  3. Dear Bonnie, Tis is a great posting. i had to miss the opening but will for sure see the exhibit.
    Thank yo for such full information. Ginny Furtwangler (Anne Copeland)

    1. Ginny I hope you get to one of the readings…it really is fascinating to join art work and words. I’m sure you know that Annre Copeland excerpts were being read…??

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