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Celebrating the Art and Legacy of Dorothy Gillespie: A Proclamation

Friday, July 03, 2020

10:00am - 10:05am

This week marks the Museum's re-opening, and equally as momentous, the 100th birthday of the beloved artist Dorothy Gillespie!

A Roanoke native, Gillespie (1920–2012) would have celebrated her one hundredth birthday on June 29—the inspiration behind the Taubman Museum of Art's companion exhibitions Celestial Centennial: The Art and Legacy of Dorothy Gillespie and Still Enchanting Virginia's Blue Ridge.

Gillespie remains the most nationally recognized artist born and raised in the Roanoke Valley, and taught at Radford University in the nearby New River Valley.

The artist achieved her fame by refreshing the modernist ideal of a universal visual language, through the creation of an art of evocative color abstraction that was distinctly hers. Some of the central tenets behind Gillespie’s art were her commitment to technical skill, her interest in experimentation along with a respect for the inherent properties of materials, and her attention to sharing art within the community.

In this video, Taubman Museum of Art Executive Director Cindy Petersen and Roanoke Vice Mayor Joe Cobb celebrate the art and legacy of Dorothy Gillespie with a Proclamation from the City of Roanoke.

Celestial Centennial: The Art and Legacy of Dorothy Gillespie is on view through July 26, 2020, in the Bank of America/Dominion Resources Gallery, the Optical Cable Corporation Gallery, and the Gentry Locke Attorneys Special Exhibition Gallery Lounge; and Dorothy Gillespie: Still Enchanting Virginia’s Blue Ridge is on view through November 8, 2020, in the David R. and Susan S. Goode Gallery.

Both exhibitions were curated by Dr. Patrick Shaw Cable, Chief Curator and Deputy Director of Exhibitions and Collections, and were supported in part by the Roanoke Arts Commission, with additional support from the Dorothy M. Gillespie Foundation, Inc., and Susan and Geoff Jennings.