"Director's Choice" lecture features current exhibition artist Donald Vaccino at the Walsh Art Gallery in the Quick Center for the Arts


The Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery at Fairfield University's Quick Center for the Arts, presents the third in a series of four "Director's Choice" lectures on Thursday, Feb. 7 from 12:30-1:30 p.m. Artist Donald Vaccino discusses his work in the exhibition, "The Emperor's New Clothes: Contemporary Paintings and Drawings" which opens Jan. 27. Admission to the gallery lecture is $5 and attendees are welcome to bring a brown-bag lunch.

Vaccino's current works are part of an ongoing series. The predominant inspiration for the paintings and drawings on exhibit are a quote by British art critic John Berger and John Coltrane's famously complex jazz composition, "Giant Steps."

Berger is quoted as saying, "A place is more than an area. A place surrounds something. A place is extension of presence or the consequence of an action... A place is where an event has taken place or will take place. The painter is continually trying to discover, to stumble upon the place which will contain and surround his present act of painting..." Vaccino's new work is in harmony with these thoughts. He is pulled forward, as he says, towards a new vision of art, "...with fragrant colors and exhilarating spaces, a place to embrace and enhance the human spirit and celebrate and emulate its fantastic creations..."

Vaccino sees Coltrane's work as "a miraculous and exhilarating invention ... Explosions and implosions, disappearing and reappearing, going in different directions and the same direction somehow simultaneously. Things and echoes of things; rocks and ghosts." Throughout this exhibit, he has expressed, in his visual medium, what Coltrane expressed so eloquently, in his musical medium. He identifies, as an underlying and recurring theme of his work, "...an awareness of, and dialogue with the evolution of the concept of space in painting."

Dr. Philip Eliasoph, professor of Art History in the Department of Visual and Performing Arts has observed Vaccino's artistic evolution over the years and offers his perceptions by stating, "I am thoroughly convinced his paintings are like a rising wave cresting on the beach. After successive phases of experimentation and edition, Vaccino offers a singular vision which is a dynamic synthesis of a cool temperament and a hot palette."

"The opportunity to hear this artist discuss his work during an exhibition devoted to it, is rare and one that I encourage the community to enjoy," said Dr. Diana Mille, director of the Walsh Art Gallery.

"The Emperor's New Clothes" exhibition runs through March 9, 2008. Gallery hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Sunday, Noon-4 p.m.; closed, Monday. Admission to the exhibit is free.

The final "Director's Choice" lecture of this season, is April 18. Dr. Mille will discuss "Rising Above Our Fears - Criticism in the Twentieth Century."

For more information, call (203) 254-4000, ext. 2969.

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Media Contact: Joan Grant, (203) 254-4000, ext. 2950, jgrant@fairfield.edu

Posted on January 17, 2008

Vol. 40, No. 158