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Dorothy Gillespie Retrospective at Belmont University: Twenty Years Later From the Radford University Art Museum Collection – Clytie Whitson Taylor

May 29 @ 9:00 AM - November 1 @ 7:00 PM

The Belmont University’s Leu Art Gallery, in partnership with the Tennessee Arts Academy, will have a retrospective exhibition of the work of Dorothy Gillespie and will feature the complete Dorothy Gillespie traveling collection housed at Radford University.
The exhibition will honor the twenty-year anniversary speech that Dorothy Gillespie made at the Tennessee Arts Academy in July of 1997. The Academy, a thirty-year old teacher professional development institute, annually trains over 300 arts teachers each summer, who in turn impact more than 150,000 students when they return to their classrooms in the fall. We invite you to join us in Tennessee this summer to visit the exhibit, Belmont University and the Tennessee Arts Academy.

All art exhibits are free and open to the public.

The Leu Art Gallery is located inside the Lila D. Bunch Library.
HOURS OF OPERATION: Monday through Friday (9-7p.m.), Saturday (9-4:30p.m.), and Sundays (1-7p.m.).

According to E. Frank Bluestein, Managing Director of the Tennessee Arts Academy “We are very excited to be able to present to another generation of educators the extraordinary work of Dorothy Gillespie.”

Dorothy Gillespie (1920–2012) was an American painter and sculptor who enjoyed an artistic career spanning more than seventy years. Born in Roanoke, Virginia, Gillespie studied at the Maryland Institute College of Art and the Art Students League in New York City. During her lifetime, she created, exhibited, and sold her artwork nationally and internationally. Early in her career and during her time in New York City, Gillespie contributed to the women’s art movement through her work. These contributions included her 1972 artist in residence position at the Women’s Interart Center and her 1977 lecture series at the New School for Social Research. Gillespie is the subject of numerous reviews, critical essays, film and radio interviews, and the book Dorothy Gillespie, which was published by the Radford University Foundation Press in 1998.

Gillespie was well known as a painter, sculptor, and installation artist. Her work encompassed many significant twentieth-century trends in art, including abstract expressionism, decorative abstraction, site-specific installations, the women’s movement, and art in public spaces. She pioneered joyful new directions for metal sculpture and is best known for her large-scale, colorfully painted arrangements of cut aluminum strips that radiate, undulate, or curl like giant arrangements of ribbon, enchanted towers, or bursting fireworks. Her work can be found all over the country in both public and private spaces, in the permanent collections of many museums such as the Guggenheim and Brooklyn Museum in New York City, in airports and corporate headquarters, on the ballet stage, and also as multiples in museum shops.

One of Gillespie’s largest installations is located in Orlando, Florida, and is 62-feet high with 720 starburst spheres. Her crowning achievement was her massive 185-piece outdoor installation at New York’s Rockefeller Center in 2003.
In 1997, Gillespie was a celebrity muser at the Tennessee Arts Academy. In addition to being fondly remembered for her stellar artwork, Gillespie remains an all-time favorite among Academy alumni for her striking style, dramatic sartorial sense, and passionate remarks.