W&L’s Staniar Gallery Celebrates Kathleen Olson’s Career with New Exhibition Washington and Lee’s Staniar Gallery presents “Passage,” a retrospective exhibition of paintings celebrating the career of W&L’s Kathleen Olson. There will be a public reception for the show on May 7 at 5 p.m. in Wilson Concert Hall.
Washington and Lee’s Staniar Gallery presents “Passage,” a retrospective exhibition of paintings celebrating the career of W&L’s Kathleen Olson, Pamela H. Simpson Professor of Art, upon the occasion of her retirement.
The exhibition is on display April 25 through May 26 in the Staniar Gallery on the W&L campus. There will be a public reception for the show on May 7 at 5 p.m. in Wilson Concert Hall. The exhibition and related events are free and open to the public.
Olson’s role steadily evolved and deepened during her 33 years with the W&L Department of Art and Art History. She served as the director of duPont Gallery for more than 19 years, taught numerous painting and drawing classes, mentored hundreds of students and served as department chair for four years. Olsen also established the popular Drawing Italy course, which brought students to Italy for several weeks in the Spring Term for an immersive experience in art and culture.
“During her time at W&L, Kathleen opened doorways for the thousands of students she taught and created new vistas for hundreds more students who she mentored closely,” said Andrea Lepage, professor of art history at W&L. “Her legacy is secured in the lives she changed, the communities she played an instrumental role in cultivating and the artwork that emerged from a place of protection that fostered vibrant creativity.”
Since earning her master’s degree in painting at Yale, Olson’s work has been featured in numerous exhibitions. In 2005 and 2007, she had solo exhibitions at the Accademia dell’Arte in Arezzo, Italy. She has received multiple awards and grants, including a Hewlett-Mellon Fellowship and a Ford Foundation Grant.
Read more about the exhibition online here.
The Staniar Gallery is located on the second floor of Wilson Hall in Washington and Lee University’s Lenfest Center for the Arts. For more information, please call 540-458-8861.