Erin Robinson Grant
Alice Christine Walker
Prospective Member Information
Blackfish Gallery is a cooperatively owned business operated, funded and maintained by its artist members through member dues and other sources. The gallery opened in 1979 as exhibition space for innovative and professional quality work by local artists and for work that, because of its subject or medium, may not necessarily be commercially viable. In addition to showing members’ art in monthly exhibitions, Blackfish features guest works through Fishbowl II, a window art project open to under-represented and emerging artists.
The membership of Blackfish employs a part-time director to represent, promote and sell the art exhibited and to facilitate the day-to-day operations of the gallery. The artists make all major policy decisions at mandatory monthly meetings, and also provide the expertise, energy and labor necessary to run the gallery in all its facets. Each member performs routine duties required to run and maintain the gallery, serves on at least one committee, and as a gallery representative and sales assistant for one six-hour shift per month. You must live close enough to Portland to participate in member duties.
Economic Obligations as a Member:
Financial support comes from monthly dues of each member and 40% commissions from artwork sold. Upon becoming a member, each artist pays an initiation fee of $150.00. Current monthly dues are $75.00. Members are responsible for an exhibition fee when showing in the main gallery.
Exhibiting at Blackfish as a Member:
Each member can expect to exhibit in a solo or two-artist show every 18 to 24 months. In addition, the gallery mounts an occasional group themed show in which members and guest artists show their work. Artists may also show work in the Backroom and Fishbowl 1.
Blackfish Member Submission:
Prospective member candidates should be artists who can clearly demonstrate their qualifications as professionals through the quality of their work and their record of professional achievement.
To apply for membership, please digitally submit 20 images of recent artwork with corresponding image inventory list, letter of intent, resume that includes education and exhibitions, brief artist’s statement by sending a link to files in your Google Drive or Dropbox to with the subject line "new member application." We currently don't have the capacity to keep digital images on file. You may also send hard copies and a USB flash drive with files to the gallery:
Attn: New Member Coordinator
420 NW 9th Avenue
Portland, OR 97209
We are always accepting new member applications. However, new member applications are reviewed quarterly, depending on whether or not there is a membership slot available. When we are at capacity, we keep a list of interested parties who have submitted a complete application package and hold a review when space comes available. A positive, 2/3 vote on your images nets you an invitation to meet with us, present at least three examples of recent work, and answer questions members have about your art. After this review, members vote again. With a 2/3 vote in favor, you are invited to join the gallery. Note: Your application will not be reviewed if it is incomplete. Currently, our membership roster is full.
We also offer Apprentice Memberships. To qualify, you must have received an art degree within the last two years. The initiation fee of $150.00 is waived and the monthly dues are reduced by 50%. Since there are limited apprentice membership positions available, please indicate your interest in one in your letter of intent. If you have any questions please feel free to contact us.