Fairfield University recognizes artist Robert Vickrey's lifelong contribution in art with The Gerard Manley Hopkins Award


Vickrey retrospective exhibition opens at Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery

Robert Vickrey, one of a few remaining masters of the ancient technique of egg tempera painting, was honored Monday night, March 23, by Fairfield University President Jeffrey von Arx, S.J. with the Gerard Manley Hopkins Award for Excellence in the Arts.

Image: Hopkins Award

Vickrey was in attendance at the Quick Center for the Arts to receive his award and to participate in a festival of art that featured his work and a discussion of new directions for museums of the 21st century. The festivities began with an enthusiastic public for the reception celebrating the opening of the retrospective exhibition of Vickrey's paintings from 1951-2007 held at the Thomas J. Walsh Art Gallery. The exhibition runs through Sunday, April 26. Following was a private reception in honor of the publication of a 224-page, 170-plate volume, "Robert Vickrey: The Magic of Realism," written by Dr. Philip Eliasoph, Fairfield professor of art history. Vickrey and Eliasoph signed books, first, in the gallery and later at the private reception, for the many people who purchased the volume. Continuing the art thread was the Open VISIONS Forum (OVF) lecture by Earl A. Powell, III, the director of the National Art Gallery in Washington D.C. Following the lecture, the gallery stayed open until 10:00 p.m. to welcome the OVF audience after the lecture.

Image: Hopkins AwardTo a near-capacity audience, Fr. von Arx acknowledged the artist's long and distinguished career and spoke of his, "unwavering dedication to his craft," a quality that has enabled him to produce, "a body of work that is at once instantly recognizable and utterly unforgettable ... remarkably poetic and thought-provoking." Father noted that Vickrey "has been featured in nine Whitney Museum of American Art Annual exhibitions and his work is in the collections of more than 80 of the nation's leading art museums," several of which loaned paintings for this exhibition.

The University established the Gerard Manley Hopkins Award in 1990 when the Regina A. Quick Center for the Arts opened its doors. Hopkins was a Jesuit priest, but he was also one of the most important innovators in the history of English poetry. In the spirit of innovation and new artistic ideas, the University has recognized a small number of artists over the years, among them actor Jason Robards, Jr., composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim, painter Paul Cadmus and ballerina Gelsey Kirkland.

Admission to the gallery is free. Hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Sunday, 12 noon to 4:00 p.m. Closed Monday. The gallery remains open before every performance at the Quick Center for the Arts.

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

Posted on March 27, 2009

Vol. 41, No. 263

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