Wilma W. Daniels Gallery to Feature Illustrious Artist Dorothy Gillespie

Changing Shadows

We are thrilled to announce an exhibition of works by internationally known artist Dorothy Gillespie. This exhibition, the first of 2021 at the gallery, explores the multi-faceted work of the artist and features works from across six decades of her career. The exhibition, Dorothy Gillespie: Selected Works from the Radford University Collection, will open on January 15, 2021 and run through February 26, 2021.

Gillespie was a groundbreaking New York artist from the mid-1940s up until her death in 2012. She forged a career that was truly independent and innovative, and helped blaze a path for women artists during the feminist art movement of the 1970s. Gillespie was a master of many media, including paint, paper, sculpture, printmaking, environments and happenings, ceramics, jewelry, and even set design. Her works are featured in numerous public and private collections; Radford University owns the largest body of her work.

There will be an opening reception held at the Wilma. W. Daniels Gallery on January 15, from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. The reception will be an indoor/outdoor affair, adhering to state and local requirements, and featuring live music. Masks will be required.

About Dorothy Gillespie

Dorothy Gillespie was born in Roanoke, Virginia in 1920. As a child she quickly demonstrated an aptitude for art. She can remember at age 5 of having to bring something to “Show-and-Tell.” Instead of the usual toy or other object, Dorothy brought in a magazine illustration of an artwork hoping that she could make the teacher and students understand that it was the work of art she wanted to show and not a magazine picture. She knew from an early age that she wanted to be an artist.

Gillespie began her formal art training at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore, graduating in 1941. She then moved to New York and attended the Art Students League and Stanley William Hayter’s Atelier 17. She continued to learn and experiment with various mediums, forms, and techniques throughout her career.

Dorothy Gillespie was well known as a painter, sculptor, and installation artist whose work encompassed many significant 20th-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 large-scale, colorfully painted arrangements of cut aluminum strips that radiate, undulate, or curl like giant arrangements of ribbon, enchanted towers, or bursting fireworks.

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