Ds Scholarship

Castellani Art Museum is celebrating powerful women in art

Dorothy Gillespie, “Earth Series: Time Zone VI,” 1981, acrylic on aluminum, Collection of the Radford University Art Museum. (Photo courtesy of the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University)

Thu, Mar 3rd 2022 10:15 am

Two exhibitions on view March 19, family program May 7

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Castellani Art Museum of Niagara University will open two exhibitions on Saturday, March 19: “Dorothy Gillespie: Works from the Radford University Collection,” and “Iron Butterfly & Gates to Times Square: The Chryssa and Nicholas Krushenick Portfolios.”

General admission is free. The museum is open to the public from 11 am to 5 pm Saturdays, and 1-5 pm Sundays.

CAM said American artist Gillespie (1920-2012) was “a dynamic painter, innovative sculptor and passionate educator known for her vibrant, colorful work.”

The major exhibition, “Dorothy Gillespie: Works from the Radford University Collection,” features 21 works spanning Gillespie’s career from the 1940s through the 1990s, including an artwork from CAM’s permanent collection. Presented in chronological order, it provides a visual timeline of the evolution of Gillespie’s signature style.

The museum noted, “Gillespie was always at the forefront of artistic innovation and creativity. She prioritized the inclusion of women in arts education and the business of salesmanship. In the early 1960s, she joined the short-lived NO!Art Movement, founded by artist Boris Lurie. The movement worked to promote equal opportunity for women and minority artists.”

Gillespie’s exhibition is on display until Nov. 20.

The artist’s foundation has awarded Niagara University with a scholarship to honor her legacy. The Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation Memorial Scholarship Fund will be awarded to an exemplary female student in the art history with museum studies program. The inaugural scholarship will be awarded by Foundation President Gary Israel to Tailor Choquette, a junior in the program.

Chryssa (1933-2013), CAM said, “is regarded as one of the first artists to use neon lighting as an artistic medium. The ‘Gates to Times Square’ portfolio showcases the artist’s two-dimensional work with brightly colored linear elements, reflecting her interest in Chinese calligraphy. Through color, pattern and repetition, her works evoke diverse emotions such as anger, fear, joy or sadness.

American artist Nicholas Krushenick (1929-1999), CAM explained, “merged the pop art aesthetic with abstraction, cubism and color field painting. In the early 1960s, he coined his signature style as ‘Pop Abstraction.’ Krushenick’s portfolio, ‘Iron Butterfly,’ demonstrates his signature style of hyper Day-Glo colors and bold hard-edge black lines.”

This exhibition marks the first time both Chryssa’s and Krushenick’s portfolios have been exhibited in their entirety. “Iron Butterfly & Gates to Times Square: The Chryssa and Nicholas Krushenick Portfolios” is on view until June 5.

An “Art Express” family program, inspired by the art of Gillespie, will take place at the museum from 10 am to noon Saturday, May 7. Local teaching artist Alison Lytle will lead a colorful hands-on session for children ages 6 to 12 . Participants will leave with artwork for their home.

Preregistration is required and space is limited. The program is $10 per child for the general public, and free with a family, grandparent or upper-level CAM membership. Registration will open soon. Visit castellaniartmuseum.org to register or for more information.

Additional public programs will be offered throughout the course of the exhibitions.

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