History of Archer Gallery

In 1978, an art gallery opened at Clark College.  Then known as the Index Gallery, it was located on the lower level of Gaiser Hall, accessible only through the college bookstore.

In 1982, Jim Archer (seen in the photo on the left), then a professor of art history at the college, became curator of the gallery.   Successful in attracting well-known Northwest artists, the Index Gallery became known as one the region's top alternative venues for contemporary artists.  

The woman in the photo is Ellen Curtis, who was a Clark College student and volunteer in the Archer Gallery in the 80s. She helped Jim Archer install the first show in that space.

The gallery moved into a 3,500-square foot space in Gaiser Hall.  The gallery was renamed in Archer's honor in September 1995.   After being closed for nearly a year due to the renovation of Gaiser Hall and the construction of the Penguin Union Building, the Archer Gallery reopened its doors in its new location in March 2005. 

Carson Legree, who was a Clark College Art professor, was the director from 1995-1997. Marjorie Hirsch became the Gallery Director in 1997, continuing through 2009. Marjorie's exhibitions over the twelve years expanded the reputation of the Archer Gallery as an outstanding contemporary art venue in the Northwest. From 2009 until 2013 Blake Shell was the curator, bringing conceptually strong exhibits to the school. Senseny Stokes, a current Clark College Art Professor, directed the gallery from 2013 until 2020. Through the pandemic (2020 - 2022), virtual exhibits and art talks were curated by Michelle Ramin. Today, a current Clark College Art Professor, Kendra Larson, is the curator and director of Archer Gallery and Archer Art Talks.