Bullseye Glass Company Closes Exhibition and Projects Space in Portland's Pearl District
Sole surviving Pacific Northwest colored art glass factory shutters arts space as costs related to regulatory, legal, and civil actions exceed $4M.
FOR RELEASE February 21, 2019 – Three years after a toxic air scare resulted in unprecedented legal and civil actions against Bullseye Glass Company, the 45-year-old colored art glass factory is closing its downtown gallery, educational, and projects space in a move to cut costs while maintaining a firm commitment to its worldwide arts community.
“The State used a tiny arts industry as a scapegoat to deflect attention from its own regulatory incompetency, to avoid transparency, and to bolster its reputation as an environmental regulator at Bullseye’s expense – all unnecessary, especially when it was aimed at a company that for decades had relied upon, taken direction from, and consistently complied with Oregon’s Department of Environmental Quality,” said Bullseye VP Jim Jones.
Financial losses related to State demands and strategically orchestrated negative publicity, paired with the resultant billion-dollar class action lawsuit, cut deep into income that had previously supported Bullseye’s robust arts program.
“For twenty years our space in the Pearl District showcased remarkable works in kilnformed glass created by artists from around the world who use the glass handmade in our southeast Portland factory,” said Lani McGregor, Bullseye co-owner and director of the exhibition and activities space known as Bullseye Projects. “Our team mounted critically lauded exhibitions, steered our national residency programs, and incubated family and children’s programming. Additionally, Bullseye Projects has co-hosted an international conference since 2001 that every two years has brought approximately 300 visitors to Portland from around the world. Finally, our international competition for emerging artists, after opening in Portland, has gone on to tour the US, in museums and other arts organizations. In our current financial position operating these programs in the Pearl District is untenable.”
The gallery is slated to close to the public on June 1, 2019. Staff will transfer to the company’s southeast facility from which they will oversee ongoing touring exhibitions, educational outreach, and an increased online presence in support of the medium, its artists, and related programs.
Changes to various arts programs previously overseen by Bullseye Projects will be announced in the weeks ahead.
Bullseye Projects staff will work closely with artists and clients during this transition to ensure that partnerships with them, with their schools, museums, and other arts organizations remain as central to Bullseye’s focus as they have been since the factory was founded in 1974.