Picasso, Warhol works on display at Radford University’s Art Museum at the Covington Center


When you think of the art of Pablo Picasso and Andy Warhol, the Radford University Art Museum may not immediately come to mind.

Soon, that will change.

Beginning January 27, 2021, the museum will present “ARTGAWK: Choice Pickings from the Radford University Permanent Collection” on campus at the Art Museum at the Covington Center. The display runs through April 17, 2021, with the opening stretched over three days, January 27, 28 and 29, from 4:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. each evening. Admission is free.

In addition to Picasso and Warhol, ARTGAWK will include works from renowned artists such as Honoré Daumier, Adolf Dehn, Urmila Devi, Jim Dine, Gustave Doré, Audrey Flack, Dorothy Gillespie, Guadalupe González Ríos, Francisco Goya, Jasper Johns, Käthe Kollwitz, Elaine de Kooning, Harold Little, Dinh Luc, Aristide Maillol, Joan Miró, Robert Motherwell, Robert Rauschenberg, Georges Rouault, Frank Stella, Alison Weld and James Abbott McNeil Whistler.

"Radford University has a noteworthy art collection that deserves to be seen and enjoyed by the wider community,” said Radford University Art Museum director Steve Arbury, Ph.D. “I am pleased the Radford University Art Museum can offer this aesthetic and educational experience, especially during these trying times."

The late Dorothy Gillespie, an acclaimed artist from Roanoke, Virginia, who served Radford University as a distinguished professor of art, founded the Art Museum’s permanent collection.

During her time at the University, Gillespie acquired select pieces of art that she believed would be important for preservation. Since that time, numerous artworks have been added to the collection.

The newest acquisitions include a collection of 23 Mithila artworks from India, donated by The Ethnic Arts Foundation in August of 2020. A painting by Urmila Devi from that collection will be on display during ARTGAWK. Two joint exhibitions focusing on Mithila art and mythology are being planned for the fall of 2022.

Guest curator John H. Bowles has been working with Arbury to assemble the ARTGAWK exhibition. “It has been a joy,” he said, “going through the museum’s collection of some 2,200 art objects to select works for this exhibition."

Given the difficulties of isolation over the past several months from adhering to safety precautions amid the COVID-19 global health pandemic, said Margaret Devaney, dean of the College of Visual and Performing Arts, the art museum is “thrilled to be able to offer an art exhibition for both our campus and surrounding community where we can gather safely and enjoy world-class artwork from our permanent collection.”

ARTGAWK’s opening event sessions will be limited to 30 minutes each, with a maximum of 10 people at a time in the museum gallery. Because of space limitations, anyone wishing to attend opening events is encouraged to register early. 

Following the opening on January 27-29, regular museum hours will be Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturday from noon to 4 p.m. through April 17, 2021. Individuals seeking to attend ARTGAWK's opening sessions can register for admission by visiting www.radford.edu/artmuseum

Jan 27, 2021
Chad Osborne