“Democratic Vista” to showcase work of Theatreworks founders

September 6, 2017

Rachel Librach

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    The Gallery of Contemporary Art is preparing for “Democratic Vistas: Betty and Murray Ross,” which will be the first exhibit of the fall 2017 and the last in GOCA 1420, the on-campus gallery.

    The exhibit will feature work by TheatreWorks founders Murray and Betty Ross. The couple was involved in the campus’ visual and performing arts exhibits and performances on campus since TheatreWorks’ formation in 1975.

    Betty Ross was born in Romania to American diplomat parents. Her work is mostly paintings on canvas inspired by her travels and different political works from unrest and revolution.

    Daisy McGowan, executive director of GOCA, explains that the collection of Betty Ross’ work spans over 40 years and is incredibly rare to be showcased.

    “This is a rare show for us and really a retrospective, looking back through her life. Typically, we work with artists who are currently making work now,” she said.

    Murray Ross died in January. Curating the exhibit was more difficult and emotional than anticipated, according to McGowan.

    “He left us too soon. It’s been more different to curate the show than I thought it would be; he was hoping to make more work, I think,” said McGowan.

    Murray created box assemblages or dioramas that resemble his work in theater and stage design. Much of Murray’s work will be displayed at this exhibit, which McGowan said is another rare gift.

    “Most people have never seen his art, of course, it’s very sad that he’s not here to share his insights with us. But it’s also really wonderful to have this insight into his mind and his creative process,” she said.

    After 36 years, GOCA will be moving to their Downtown Gallery of Contemporary Art building in downtown Colorado Springs.

    The Democratic Vistas: Betty and Murray Ross will open Sept. 8 from 5-8 p.m. in GOCA 1420. Betty Ross will be there as well to share some of her artistic insights.