Castellani Art Museum Celebrates 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 Niagara University Castellani Museum of Art)

Thu, March 3, 2022 10:15 a.m.

Two exhibitions on display on March 19, family program on May 7

In honor of Women’s History Month, the Castellani Art Museum at 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 Wallets.

General admission is free. The museum is open to the public from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturday and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

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

The major exhibition, ‘Dorothy Gillespie: Works from the Radford University Collection’, features 21 works spanning Gillespie’s career from the 1940s to the 1990s, including one work 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 has always been at the forefront of artistic innovation and creativity. She prioritized the inclusion of women in arts education and in sales. In the early 1960s, she joined the short-lived NO!Art Movement, founded by artist Boris Lurie. The movement worked to promote equal opportunities for women and minority artists.

Gillespie’s exhibition is on view until November 20.

The artist’s foundation awarded Niagara University a scholarship to honor his legacy. The Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation Memorial Scholarship Fund will be awarded to an exemplary student in Art History with a Museum Studies program. The inaugural scholarship will be awarded by the foundation’s president, Gary Israel, to tailor Choquette, a junior in the program.

Chryssa (1933-2013), said CAM, “is considered 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 his interest in Chinese calligraphy.Through color, pattern and repetition, his works evoke various emotions such as anger, fear, joy or sadness.

American artist Nicholas Krushenick (1929-1999), explained CAM, “fused the aesthetics of pop art with abstraction, cubism and color field painting. In the early 1960s he invented his signature style like “Pop Abstraction.” Krushenick’s portfolio, “Iron Butterfly,” demonstrates his signature style of hyper day-glo colors and bold black lines.

This exhibition marks the first time that Chryssa 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 through June 5.

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

Advance registration is required and places are limited. The program is $10 per child for the general public and free with a family, grandparent, or top-tier CAM membership. Registrations will be open soon. Visit castellaniartmuseum.org to register or for more information.

Complementary public programs will be offered throughout the exhibitions.

Mildred D. Field