The June Kelly Gallery is currently celebrating its 25th anniversary with a group exhibition of outstanding contemporary art by gallery artists, including several who have been with the gallery since its earliest days. The exhibition will continue through April 7.
“These have been 25 exhilarating and challenging years,” said gallery owner June Kelly. “They have brought me great pleasure, and I am especially pleased that so many of my artists have been with me from the early years.”
Among them are painters Stan Brodsky, Carmen Cicero, Francis Hynes, James Little, Philemona Williamson and Nolan Zirin, as well as sculptor Elizabeth Catlett. Kelly said she was also sad to note that several of the important artists she represented had died, including sculptor Jane Schneider and painters Toyce Anderson, Elise Asher, Hughie Lee-Smith and Claire Moore.
Among other artists who have been on the gallery’s roster for multiple exhibitions are Mark Alsterlind, Sandra Lerner, Sarah Plimpton, Kay WalkingStick and Rebecca Welz.
From the outset, Kelly was determined that the artists in her gallery would represent a broad, diverse ethnic and international spectrum, and she has clearly succeeded in that objective. The gallery’s most recent exhibition, for example, focused on work by Su-Li Hung, who is from Taiwan, and she was preceded by paintings by Hanibal Srouji, who is from Lebanon and lives in Beirut and Paris. The gallery also represents Posoon Park Sung, who is currently living and teaching painting at the Incheon Catholic University, College of Art & Design in Incheon, South Korea.
Three gallery artists are involved in upcoming museum exhibitions. Carmen Cicero and James Little will be in group shows of abstract art -- Cicero at the Guggenheim Museum in New York opening in June, and Little at the Mobile Museum of Art in Alabama in April. Su Kwak will have a career retrospective that will open in December at the Brauer Museum of Art at Valparaiso University in Indiana.
Kelly pays tribute to many early supporters, including Romare Bearden, with whom she had worked as manager for 13 years until his death in 1988, and the late gallery owner Terry Dintenfass, who provided strong encouragement for Kelly’s plans to open her own gallery.
She said it was also gratifying to work with so many perceptive art enthusiasts by assisting them in building their collections and advising them on the placement of the art in their homes.
“It has been an amazing and exciting journey,” Kelly said, “despite the ups and downs inherent in this demanding field, and I’m grateful to so many people for their contributions to the gallery’s achievements.”