Past Exhibition

Strange and Wonderful: American Folk Art from the Willem and Diane Volkersz Collection

September 17 – December 22, 2016

Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery

Willem and Diane Volkersz of Bozeman, Montana have collected folk and outsider art since the mid-1970s, amassing an extensive collection over the past 40 years. Organized by director John Olbrantz under the guidance of the Volkersz’, this exhibition features 108 objects by 32 artists that reflect the breadth and scope of this remarkable collection. Included in the exhibition are paintings, sculptures, drawings, ceramics, textiles, and mixed media works by self-taught and outsider artists such as the Rev. Howard Finster, Arthur Frenchy, Robert E. Smith, and Sarah Taylor, among many others. 

More about the artists


Outsider Art

By the 1940s, there emerged a large group of self-taught artists whose work became notable and collectable. They tended to live in rural parts of the United States and lacked formal education. Many were the sons and daughters of sharecroppers and former slaves. Most started their artistic careers late in life and often used inexpensive and ordinary material to create their artwork. Some of these artists experienced visions in which God or the angels told them to make art, while others carved, painted, or sewed to keep active in retirement. Still others used their artwork to rail against the government or their neighbors. 

The term "outsider" art was coined by the British art scholar Roger Cardinal in 1972 for artwork created by self-taught artists who work outside the mainstream art scene.

Learn more


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This exhibition is accompanied by a 64-page, full color book with essays by Willem Volkersz and folk art scholar Tom Patterson.
Available at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art
$24.95


Exhibition Related Events

Lecture 
Friday, September 16, 2016 at 5 p.m.
Paulus Lecture Hall, Willamette University College of Law 
Strange and Wonderful: American Folk Art from the Willem and Diane Volkersz Collection 
Willem and Diane Volkersz
Free and open to the public 

Member’s Reception 
Friday, September 16, 2016 between 6 and 8 p.m.
Hallie Ford Museum of Art 

Cost

  • Museum Members: complimentary
  • Non-members: $5/person suggested donation at the door
  • New Members: are welcome to join at the event or online
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Evening for Educators
Tuesday, September 20, 2016 from 4:30 - 6 p.m.
Maribeth Collins Lobby and Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery 

Educators are invited to join Elizabeth Garrison, the Cameron Paulin Curator of Education, for a complimentary preview of the exhibition at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. This workshop is designed to help teachers prepare students for a field trip to the exhibition, as well as broaden curriculum concepts for use in the classroom.

Advance registration for this free workshop is required by September 19 by calling 503-370-6855

A Teacher's Guide for this exhibition will be available September 21. 

Teachers Guide | School Tours | Join our Educator List |

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Tuesday Gallery Talks
Join docents at the museum for a guided tour of the exhibition. Tours commence at 12:30 p.m. in the Maribeth Collins Lobby at the museum.
Free and open to the public
  • September 20: led by exhibition curator and director John Olbrantz
  • October 4: led by a Hallie Ford Museum of Art docent
  • October 25: led by a Hallie Ford Museum of Art docent
  • November 1: led by a Hallie Ford Museum of Art docent
  • November 8: led by a Hallie Ford Museum of Art docent
  • November 15: led by a Hallie Ford Museum of Art docent
  • November 22: led by a Hallie Ford Museum of Art docent
  • November 29: led by a Hallie Ford Museum of Art docent
  • December 6: led by a Hallie Ford Museum of Art docent
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Family Activity Day
Saturday, October 15, 2016 from noon-4 p.m.
Maribeth Collins Lobby and Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Admission is complimentary

Find inspiration in the museum’s current exhibition “Strange and Wonderful: American Folk Art from the Willem and Diane Volkersz Collection” and then join Elizabeth Garrison (the Cameron Paulin Curator of Education) and local artist Sonia Allen for art-making activities in the Maribeth Collins Lobby. Draw your own “strange and wonderful” creature, create a picture out of clay, decorate a frame for your artwork and participate in storytelling with Ken Iverson at 1, 2 and 3 p.m.

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Member Appreciation Evening
Thursday, October 20, 2016 from 5-7 p.m.
Hallie Ford Museum of Art  

Cost

  • Museum Members: complimentary
  • Guests/Non-members: $5/person suggested donation at the door
  • New Members: are welcome to join at the event or online

RSVP Required by Friday, October 14, 2016 (acceptances only)

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Or email museum-art@willamette.edu or call 503-370-6855 (please include your name, and #attending)

Lecture
Singular Spaces: Art Environments in Spain and Around the World
Jo Farb Hernandez
Director/Curator, Natalie and James Thompson Gallery, and Professor of Art and Art History, San Jose State University
Thursday, October 20, 2016 at 7:30 p.m.
Hudson Concert Hall, Mary Stuart Rogers Music Center at Willamette University 
     Internationally-recognized scholar, curator, and writer Jo Farb Hernandez will talk about art environments around the world. 
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Sunday Gallery Talk
November 13, 2016 at 2 p.m.
Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery, Hallie Ford Museum of Art
Join a museum docent for a tour of the exhibition.

Financial Support

This exhibition has been supported by general operating support grants from the City of Salem’s Transient Occupancy Tax fund and the Oregon Arts Commission. 

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