Jul 30, 2014
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Rider University Art Gallery Presents “John Heliker: The Music of Painting”

Rider University Art Gallery Presents “John Heliker: The Music of Painting”

The Rider University Art Gallery will present a retrospective of work by the late John Heliker, titled “The Music of Painting,” March 13 through April 20, 2014.  The exhibit will open on Thursday, March 13 with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. and a recital of American Art Song at 6 p.m.

The recital will feature Westminster Choir College students accompanied by Professor J. J. Penna.  They will perform works by several composers who knew John Heliker, including Merton Brown, who was Heliker's partner in the 1940s; Lee Hoiby and Michael Dellaira.  The program will also include works by Samuel Barber and Aaron Copland.  Dr. Penna will perform Happy Journey for Jack Heliker, which Lou Harrison composed and dedicated to Heliker when he left for a Prix de Rome Fellowship in 1948.

The exhibit focuses on Heliker’s small painting of figures, landscapes, and still lifes, as well as material from his copious daily sketchbooks and manuscript material from his relationships with prominent American composers. Born in 1909, he played a vital role in the artistic and cultural life of New York City until his death in 2000. An important teacher of painting, Heliker taught at Columbia University for 27 years, and was among the founding faculty of the New York Studio School and the MFA program at the Parsons School of Design. 

His works are included in numerous public and private collections, including the Metropolitan Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, the Brooklyn Museum, the Walker Art Center, the Philadelphia Museum and the Whitney Museum, among many others. In Maine alone, his works are in The Farnsworth Art Museum, The Portland Museum, The Ogunquit Museum and in the museums at Bowdoin and Colby Colleges.

This exhibit was curated by Rider University Professor of Fine Arts Deborah Rosenthal.

The Rider University Art Gallery is open Tuesdays through Thursdays from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., and Sundays from 12 noon to 4 p.m.  The Gallery is closed for spring break March 16-23.

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