about PaO

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Photography at Oregon, a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization, has brought photography exhibitions and events to Eugene and Lane County, Oregon, for 57 years.

Professor Bernie Freemesser and his students established the Photography at Oregon Gallery at the University of Oregon Art Museum in 1966. It was the first photography gallery at a public institution on the West Coast.

Bernie Freemesser in 1974

Photographer/attorney Gerald Robinson of Portland donated lighting and construction materials to transform a large broom closet on the museum's ground floor into an intimate gallery space. Shows were chosen and hung by a committee of students, faculty, and alumni.

PAOG's monthly exhibits drew a devoted following, and its acquisitions built the museum's photography collection. When the museum turned its gallery space into a gift shop in 1992, PAO became a nonprofit and continued to exhibit fine art photography in other local venues.

A newly remodeled, enlarged, and renamed Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art opened in January, 2005. PAO was invited back and had a display space until 2009, when a new museum administration eliminated the gallery and its programs.

2009-2014 exhibits were hosted by the Emerald Art Center in Springfield. More recently, PAO shows have graced the walls of Dot Dotson's Photo Finishing and the New Zone Gallery in Eugene, in addition to the Emerald Art Center.

UO alumna and Lane Community College photography instructor Susie Morrill has chaired the PAO Committee for more than 30 years.

Susie Morrill in 2012