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Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art: Invigorating the Eugene art scene

Front entrance to the JSMA with displays for its recent
Front entrance to the JSMA with displays for its recent
Travis Kiley, 2009

Nestled among the trees, and just on the edge of the University of Oregon campus, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art awaits those eager to view the visual arts at their finest. The JSMA houses both collections of particular historical significance as well as contemporary selections. The permanent collection includes pieces from Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and American art, as well as an impressive collection of Orthodox icons, examples of which are currently on view. Also presently on display, as of January 26, 2010, is Pablo Picasso's 1969 piece Buste d'Homme, a distinctive example of the great painter's post-war work. On loan from a private collector, this is a time-sensitive viewing opportunity that should certainly be taken advantage of.

In addition to its permanent collection, the museum also offers special exhibitions, displaying both work on loan and pieces from the JSMA permanent collections. Currently on exhibition is Amazonia, a visually stunning journey through the headwaters of the Amazon River in Peru, photographed by Sam Abell and Tiben Nissen. Some past JSMA exhibits include Faster Than a Speeding Bullet: The Art of the Superhero (Sept. 2009 - Jan. 2010), The History of Photography (Oct. 2009 - Dec. 2009), and On the Road: Two Visions of Tokaido (June 2009 - Sept. 2009). The museum's exhibitions consistently draw significant crowds, thirsty for the newest display of visual art, who remain steadfastly engaged in whatever variety of material they have the pleasure of viewing.

The appeal of the JSMA does not stop with the art itself, but is further strengthened by the presence of its Education Department. Indeed the museum is a beacon for all types of University of Oregon Art students, scholars, and faculty, but it also offers a number of public programs and services that appeal to a diverse audience of children, adults, senior citizens, families, and teachers, to mention a few. Complete with its own Art Studio and Discovery Gallery, the JSMA provides a public hands-on learning experience for visitors of all ages. The museum is also equipped with its own store (Precious Cargo), cafe (Marche), a beautiful open-air courtyard, and rental spaces perfectly suited for weddings, cocktail parties, and a number of other events.

There is always something new, exciting, and invigorating on display at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. With free admission for members, students, and faculty, and a modest $5 admission fee for adults and $3 for seniors, all that the JSMA has to offer should not be missed. Infusing flavor into the Eugene art scene, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is most certainly a shining gem of the "Emerald City".

For more information about the JSMA, including hours of operation, event calendar, and more, visit their website here.

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