Bisignano Art Gallery to Display Lasansky CollectionBy Stacey Ortman
DUBUQUE, Iowa - The University of Dubuque's Bisignano Art Gallery will host a guest lecture and pre-show reception for "Lasansky in the UD Collection" on Monday, December 5, 2022, in Heritage Center, 2255 Bennett Street.
The special guest lecture with a Q&A presented by Diego Lasansky, an American artist whose focus is on painting, drawing, and printmaking, will be held at 6 p.m. in the Straatmeyer Rehearsal Room, Heritage Center. The pre-show reception will be held from 6:30 to 8:00 p.m. in the art gallery. Both events are open to the public.
UD's collection of intaglio prints by the Lasansky family started with a major gift by the Bisignano Art Gallery's benefactor of Mauricio Lasansky's Great Thinkers series. When Alan Garfield, director of the art gallery, first learned of the dozen intaglios at the University by the man who is often considered to be a father of American printmaking, he was overwhelmed.
"What a great teaching tool; what great art. In no time, I organized the students in my museum studies course to mount our first show of Mauricio Lasansky's work in the Bisignano Art Gallery in April 2013. This was our inaugural exhibition in the gallery," Garfield said.
Since then, UD has acquired more Mauricio Lasansky works and, through special funding and gifts, has expanded its reach to include the Lasansky family of artists: Tomas Lasansky, son of Mauricio, and Diego Lasansky, grandson of Mauricio, nephew of Tomas, and son of Phillip Lasansky.
"Lasansky in the UD Collection" includes works by Mauricio, Tomas, and Diego. The exhibit is free and open to the public through Thursday, December 29, 2022.
"You've heard of the concept of lifelong learning? This is a family that believes in lifelong artistic production," Garfield said.
That passion for artistry impacted not only Garfield but also Noah Bullock, coordinator of the art gallery.
"Many years ago, I went to Iowa City and visited the Lasansky Workshop. At the time I wasn't really into art. Nor did I understand it. But walking through the shop and talking with Tomas Lasansky flipped a switch in my head. I was drawn to these large portraits of influential people from our past. They're big, vibrant, and full of texture. Mauricio, Tomas, and Diego Lasansky combine painting, drawing, and printmaking to create these one-of-a-kind pieces. In a sense, each artist reminds me of a modern-day Rembrandt using some of the same techniques," Bullock said.
As the years went by, Bullock met other members of the Lasansky family - all involved with art. He said when he became coordinator of the art gallery, he knew he wanted to curate a Lasansky family show.
"The University of Dubuque has a large collection of Lasansky works, many of them permanently displayed around campus, so naturally a show in the Bisignano Art Gallery was fitting, especially for the 10th year anniversary of Heritage Center," Bullock said.
The special pre-show lecture and reception for "Lasansky in the UD Collection" will take place in conjunction with A Christmas Carol, performed by Perseverance Productions, at 7:30 p.m. Monday, December 5, 2022, in John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center. For more information or to purchase tickets to the performance, please visit www.dbq.edu/HeritageCenter.
A brochure that accompanies "Lasansky in the UD Collection" was funded by a gallery grant given by Bill (C'68) and Judith (C'67) Crandall.
Gallery hours are noon to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday during the academic year. The art gallery is also open in conjunction with all major events in John and Alice Butler Hall, Heritage Center.
"Lasansky in the UD Collection" is also available virtually at http://gallery.dbq.edu.