Public-Private Partnerships Support COM’s Commitment to the Arts

January 9th, 2018 - 10:18am

News Contact:
Nicole Cruz
Office of the Superintendent/President
(415) 485-9508

Public-Private Partnerships Support COM’s Commitment to the Arts

Spring 2018 exhibit features art from the private collections of Marin residents


KENTFIELD / NOVATO, CA—January 9, 2018—The Art Department at College of Marin (COM) had its beginnings in the Butler Barn in 1931 under the direction of William F. Rauschnabel. Since then, students have received instruction from award-winning artists such as Harry Crotty and world-renown sculptor Robert Ellison. 

Over the years, a number of donors have contributed important works of art to COM’s permanent collection as well as a variety of pieces currently on loan. Two sculptures by Robert Ellison are installed at the Kentfield Campus. COM is also home to six original William Keith paintings depicting Mt. Tamalpais, the Sierra Nevada Mountains, and other local vistas.

The availability to view art created by emerging and established artists is a critical component of the Art Department’s curriculum. This engagement, whether active or passive, provides opportunities for students and the community to study and experience art.

Reviewing potential artwork to be installed on District property now falls under the purview of an advisory group. This process was formalized in a new administrative procedure approved by members of the board of trustees in May 2017. Formed by the Fine Arts Department chair, the group includes Art Department faculty and staff and a representative from the Advancement Office. After reviewing requests for installations on campus, the group’s recommendations are considered by the Office of the Superintendent/President for a final decision.

“Art exhibited at College of Marin’s campuses—whether in the gallery or other locations—can provide a vehicle for dialogues to take place across disciplines,” said Superintendent/President Dr. David Wain Coon. “The upcoming exhibits broaden the conversation farther out into the community as they feature pieces with direct connections to Marin.”

In 2018, COM’s commitment to the arts takes shape in the form of new biannual exhibits. Opening in March, Marin Collects showcases significant art and design from the private collections of Marin County residents. The inaugural exhibit will feature works on loan from the Blunk Foundation, the Parker family, and the Cella family. 

Marin Collects is intended to celebrate the passion that moves people to acquire art. Just as community colleges draw a diverse group of people, the exhibit seeks to bring unique pieces together in support of sharing an appreciation of the arts.

Opening in fall 2018, Made in Marin will feature works by local makers—designers and manufacturers, artists and craftspeople—based in Marin. This reoccurring exhibit highlights art from emerging makers who live and work in this community. Made in Marin lauds the county’s heritage of creative artisans. The inaugural exhibit will include art by Ido Yoshimoto and Grayson Kent.

COM’s Fine Arts Gallery hosts five to six exhibits each academic year and serves as a classroom which gives students hands-on training in the fields of exhibition installation and gallery management.

More information about gallery hours and exhibits is available online at


About College of Marin
Established in 1926, College of Marin remains committed to educational excellence, providing equitable opportunities, and fostering success in all members of its diverse community. With campuses in Kentfield and Novato, students of all ages have affordable access to an exciting variety of credit and noncredit courses as well as community education classes for lifelong learning. College of Marin is one of 114 public community colleges in California and approximately 13,000 credit, noncredit, and community education students enroll annually. 

College of Marin is accredited by the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges, Western Association of Schools and Colleges, 10 Commercial Boulevard, Suite 204, Novato, CA 94949, (415) 506-0234, an institutional accrediting body recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation and the U.S. Department of Education.