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Rogue Gallery & Art Center announces receipt of $500,000 endowment from the estate of Eugene Bennett

Rogue Gallery Executive Director Kim Hearon shows a painting by Eugene Bennett. Image courtesy Medford Mail-Tribune

Rogue Gallery Executive Director Kim Hearon shows a painting by Eugene Bennett. Image courtesy Medford Mail-Tribune

Eugene Bennett was a founding member of the Rogue Gallery & Art Center and a lifetime supporter. “This gift from his estate will enable the Rogue Gallery & Art Center to continue Eugene Bennett’s vision of bringing the visual arts to Southern Oregon” says executive director Kim Hearon.

 

In addition to the endowment, the Bennett estate also appointed the Rogue Gallery & Art Center as the seller of his personal artwork from his estate. The Rogue Gallery will have a special exhibition of Eugene Bennett’s art on display and available for purchase from June 29 – July 6.  Proceeds from the sale of artwork will go to the Rogue Gallery & Art Center Endowment and the Oregon Community Foundation. Learn more about Eugene Bennett at Jackson County Library’s free lunchtime lecture:
“Peter Britt to Eugene Bennett:
The Remarkable Similarities of Artists 100 Years Apart”
Noon to 1:00 pm
July 3 at the Medford Branch Library
July 10 at the Ashland Branch Library

 

Eugene Bennett was born in Central Point in 1921. An accomplished pianist, he studied music at the University of Oregon before joining the US Navy in 1943. When he returned home, he decided to pursue his other passion, painting. He graduated in 1954 with a masters degree from the Art Institute of Chicago. Returning to his beloved Southern Oregon in the late 1950s, Eugene along with three other local artists began the Rogue Valley Art Association (now known as the Rogue Gallery & Art Center). His involvement in the Rogue Gallery continued for the next fifty years, exhibiting his works on numerous occasions. His work has been shown at the Brooklyn Museum, New York City Museum of Modern Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Art. Eugene Bennett was a featured artist on the television show Oregon Art Beat in 2001. In 2002 he was honored with the Governor’s Arts Award for work that has “significantly contributed to the growth and development of Oregon’s cultural life.”

Painting by Eugene Bennett

Painting by Eugene Bennett, on display at the Rogue Gallery

 

“Eugene Bennett had a tremendous impact on the visual arts of the Southern Oregon. He was deeply committed to the Rogue Gallery & Art Center. This gift from his estate expresses how important he felt the Rogue Gallery & Art Center is to this community. We are deeply grateful to his lifetime of support,” stated Kim Hearon.

 

The Rogue Gallery & Art Center is a non-profit community art center, founded in 1960 to promote and support the arts in the Rogue Valley. The center exhibits a wide range of artistic styles and mediums from local and national artists. Programming includes art educational opportunities for children and adults. Hours of operation are Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Call (541)772-8118 for more info or visit www.roguegallery.org.

 

 

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