Culture Spotlight: Hoehn Family Galleries
Posted on September 10, 2016
Over 30 years ago, University of San Diego art professor Therese Truitt Whitcomb and some of her students began organizing art installations on campus in different classrooms throughout Founders Hall. The exhibitions were so popular that the space became known as Founders Gallery. For the next two decades, USD students and the public had access to more than 100 unique exhibits featuring some of Southern California’s best art.
In 2002, Del Mar residents Robert and Karen Hoehn, both longtime art collectors, made a major contribution to expand and professionalize the arts facility. In recognition of their generosity and ongoing support, it was renamed The Hoehn Family Galleries. The space has become one of the San Diego region’s premier galleries, attracting thousands of art lovers to view a varied roster of art pieces and collections annually.
The Hoehn Family Galleries are one part of a multi-gallery offering at USD, which also includes the David W. May Gallery, the Hoehn Print Study Room, and the Fine Art Galleries. The galleries serve many purposes for the broader USD community. Students can participate in faculty-run visual arts teaching laboratories. Art lovers gather to discuss everything from art history to creative technique. There are many internship opportunities available, the galleries collaborate with university’s Art, Architecture and Art History departments, and they also partner with the Associated Students organization on the Student Life Pavilion’s Exhibit Space as well as with the Copley Library staff on pieces to display. There are many hands-on experiences and arts resources available for all arts lovers (student and non-student), and the extensive art book library is also open to the public.
A volunteer Curatorial Advisory Committee chooses the public exhibits. Focus is given to works that relate to the educational mission of the university. Currently on view is American Art from a Pacific Northwest Collection 1860-1915, a display that brings together extraordinary works by American painters, sculptors, and printmakers. Additionally, the work from a renowned private collector is on view in San Diego for the first time. Ruth Eckstein: Topographies presents the graphic work of Ruth Eckstein, a 20th-century artist who explores the possibilities of printmaking as a vehicle for formal experimentation. Upcoming is Imprint: Recent Acquisitions and Highlights from USD’s Print Collection, on view October 6 to December 16. Featuring more than 60 works highlighting significant recent gifts to the university’s growing collection, the exhibition reaches as far back as the 15th century, and also features Collection highlights, with works by seminal artists including Albrecht Dürer, Otto Dix, Francisco Goya, and Edvard Munch, among others.
Admission is free to all of the galleries on campus. The Hoehn Family Galleries and the other on-campus galleries rely on donations from private benefactors and the general public. 619.260.7516, sandiego.edu/galleries Ryan Thomas