about the gallery


First Street Gallery Entrance

Founded in 1998 by Humboldt State University (HSU), First Street Gallery blends educational curriculum and student involvement with service to the local community. First Street Gallery organizes and presents exhibitions with a special focus on contemporary art and receives over 24,000 visitors a year.



Eureka WaterfrontFirst Street Gallery is located in the historic Old Town waterfront district of Eureka, California.  Situated 7 miles from the main Humboldt State campus, First Street Gallery extends HSU’s nationally recognized learning environment into the heart of California’s North Coast community.  The gallery stimulates community awareness of the visual arts through exposure to art exhibitions and art forms previously unavailable to this region.   As a community resource First Street Gallery creates innovative, new partnerships, develops local arts education initiatives, and contributes to regional economic growth in the arts and culture sector. The gallery’s exhibitions and public programs also highlight the work of distinguished faculty, alumni, students, visiting and regional artists.


First Street Gallery’s Mission

Art Education Students• To provide HSU students with opportunities to learn firsthand about managing, preparing and curating art exhibits.

• To furnish HSU Art Education students with a Service Learning resource as they instruct community students, K-12, using gallery exhibitions in support of their curricular goals.



Visitors view Ingrid Nickelsen• To create free public exhibitions formed in a critical context, which means that the material on view will be interpreted for the viewer in light of issues significant to an interdisciplinary understanding of our times and our global cultures.

• To stimulate active public awareness, support and participation in the arts.



Visitors view Lien Truong• To introduce artists and art forms that may be unfamiliar to our community.

• To provide a publicly accessible venue for art made by regional, national and international artists as well as the faculty, staff, students and alumni of Humboldt State University.




Public Programs

Visiting Artists Program

Visiting artists Tamako Shimizu and Shinzaburo TakedaSince the gallery was opened in 1998, First Street Gallery has undertaken, as its special mission, to bring artists from other regions to California’s North Coast. Here, artists from all over the United States, and from other nations, come to share their art and to enrich our understanding of the world beyond our immediate community.  Through this program, First Street Gallery has developed a reputation in the larger art world as a serious and professional venue in which to exhibit art.

Visiting artists Tamako Shimizu and Shinzaburo Takeda



Artist Norman Sherfield demonstrates his sculptural techniqueFeatured artists are invited to the HSU campus and to First Street Gallery to present lectures and workshops open to students and community members alike. The series provides our community with a distinct cultural experience of art as well as the opportunity to explore art projects and arts-based learning experiences that promote community development, social change and understanding of a variety of art forms.

Artist Norman Sherfield demonstrates his sculptural technique





Arts Alive - A Popular Monthly EventOn the first Saturday of each month, come join us in our public receptions for the artists who enrich the life of our community. The quality of life, and therefore the economic well-being of California’s North Coast, is enhanced by the presence of this robust and vital arts program.






Art & Environment

Art & Environment- Montana Legacy-Old Works #3, 2001 Chromogenic print by Mark AbrahamsonSince 1999, First Street Gallery has run a series of exhibitions that highlight environmental issues as the subject examined by a variety of artists. The artists chosen to participate in this series incorporate themes that examine the scientific, social, political and aesthetic dimensions of diverse, environmentally related subjects. The Art & Environment Series is designed to consider the broad intersection of the arts and such subjects as interpretation of the landscape, sustainable industries, watershed and land management issues, native stewardship and new and challenging developments in the environmental sciences—to name a few.

Art & Environment- Montana Legacy-Old Works #3, 2001
Chromogenic print by Mark Abrahamson





Freedom of Speech 

Read our Freedom of Speech policy here.



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