January 8th, 2008 5:33 pm | by Stephen Marc Beaudoin News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

UPDATE: ALL the Members of the Portland Art Center Board Quit


UPDATE: WWire has learned the last PAC board member, Victor Maldonado, resigned at 1:52 pm today. According to fellow former board member Katherine Ace, "[PAC] director Gavin Shettler has real problems communicating, especially with his board." She goes on to clarify, "there were a couple of instances where we asked for information, like financials, and we simply wouldn't get it. It was a HUGE amount of work but it was not going anywhere."

ORIGINAL POST: WWire has learned that almost the entire Portland Art Center board has resigned, leaving one board member behind to pick up the pieces for a struggling, rapidly changing Portland arts organization that only last month was facing potential eviction by its landlord.

In a move that the center's Executive Director Gavin Shettler called "disappointing," PAC board members Katherine Ace, Karen Esler and Laura Ross-Paul all submitted their letters of resignation to Shettler on Sunday, Jan. 6. Those resignations by the trio of A-list artists comes on top of the fall 2007 resignations of board members Jeff Houghtaling and Meredyth Jensen. The end result: only artist Victor Maldonado remains on the board.

Shettler says "These three board members in particular didn't have the time or energy to put toward the organization."

Ace, Ross-Paul and Esler did return calls placed to their respective galleries for comment; their responses - and those of other arts community leaders, including gallery owner Mark Woolley - will be included in a January 16 WW article on the PAC.

"We were anticipating there would be a major change and we were planning for lots of restructuring," Shettler told WWire this afternoon.

And Shettler points to recent fund-raising success as a sign the organization may be turning around and staying in its current location: the PAC raked in more than $60,000 in sales during its "PDX Panels" show in February - $40,000 plus in actual panel sales, buoyed by a matching grant of $20,000 from the Henry Hillman Family Foundation.

"While it's difficult to make it through these transitions," Shettler said, "I'm optimistic." PAC's February shows, including new works from Augustana Woodgate, Ben Hirschkoff, Alan Bailey, Jason Frank and Andy Brown, opens Thursday, Feb. 7.
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