Gary Gillespie Israel stopped by the Lickson residence today on his trip back to New York City after a trip that took him many days in his own quest of his famous mother’s art. The late Dorothy Gillespie was one of the outstanding female artists of hers or any era. Her son Gary has been all over the United States with his mother’s art always his central focus. On this trip, he visited many places in Virginia where Dorothy’s art may be found. He also has been to North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Alabama and California on his travels – always to see his mother’s art in museums, in private collections and in public places.
In Roanoke, he visited “Celestial Joy,” a six story sculpture with a spiral shaped car park winding around the piece. Gary’s mother was born in Roanoke, which has become an arts-centric city. The Roanoke Times on May 29, 2016 published an extensive review of Gary’s trip and Dorothy’s artworks, which encompass painting and her famous sculptures of many aluminum strips, painted, enameled, then hung as part of a large art piece.
Gary, a former businessman and teacher, is devoting much of his life and energy these days to making sure Dorothy’s art “lives on”. He expressed to Bryane and Chips Lickson, his support for the concept of Lalo and presented the Lickson’s with a large book filled with the Art of Dorothy Gillespie. Himself, a great story teller, Gary’s recollections of growing up with a famous artist mother and a night club owning father are themselves worth many hours of listening.
Dorothy Gillespie’s art career is probably highlighted at the ripe age of 83, in 2003, when she made 185 sculpture pieces to fill the plaza in front of New York City’s Rockefeller Center. Her grand collection of pieces was known as “Color, Light and Motion”, but the artist herself didn’t want the publicity she most likely could have gotten from nearby NBC studios and others.
Gary, now 66, covered many thousands of miles and visited many cities on his journeys of discovery. The visit with the Licksons occurred because Monica DeSerio of Avio Galleries, Inc. , of Luray, an informal affiliate of Lalo, knew his mother in New York City and suggested to Gary that Lalo and its members were engaged in their own quest to keep art alive.
Gary Gillespie Israel may be back in Front Royal in August as he travels to Roanoke for a showing of his mother’s work at the Taubman Museum of Art.