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NHPR Host Interviews Artist Jules Olitski at Keene State

KEENE, N.H. 8/29/03 - Renowned American artist Jules Olitski will be interviewed by John Walters, host of New Hampshire Public Radio’s “The Front Porch” and “All Things Considered,” at 4 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 20, in the Alumni Recital Hall of the Redfern Arts Center on Brickyard Pond at Keene State College. Olitski, considered one of the great contemporary abstract colorists, will answer questions about his professional life and work. Walters will invite the audience to ask questions at the end of the session, which is free and open to the public. Seating for the interview is limited, and people will be admitted on a first-come, first-seated basis.

After the interview until 6:30 p.m., the audience will be invited to the Thorne-Sagendorph Art Gallery for a reception and to view the exhibit “Jules Olitski: A Ten-Year Retrospective, 1993-2003,” commemorating the Thorne’s ten years in its home on Wyman Way. The gallery will be open before the interview from noon to 4 p.m. For more information, call the gallery at 603-358-2720 or visit

Olitski made his mark in the art world in the 1960s and was heralded as the best living abstract painter by formalist critic Clement Greenberg in 1990. He had his first solo exhibition in 1967 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., and in 1969 was the first living artist ever to have a solo sculpture exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Considered a color-field painter, Olitski produces works that are freer and less severe than those of many artists associated with the 1960s abstraction movement. The 81-year-old artist has experimented with various media during his long career and introduced the use of the industrial spray gun and leaf blower to apply thick layers of paint to large canvases. In the 1990s, Olitski began to paint landscapes inspired by sunrises and sunsets at his summer home on New Hampshire’s Lake Winnipesaukee and his winter haven in the Florida Keys.

Walters joined NHPR in January 2000 as a local host for “All Things Considered.” The following year, he created “The Front Porch,” a daily interview show featuring New Hampshire’s most interesting people. Walters spent most of his life in Michigan and graduated from the University of Michigan, where he worked at the student radio station. After a few years of working in other areas, in the late 1980s he returned to the University of Michigan to serve as host and reporter for its public radio station, a job he had for seven years.

The Olitski retrospective exhibit is open through Sunday, Oct. 12. Keene State student intern Alison Davis will give guided tours of the exhibit at 3 p.m. every Sunday. Davis, a senior studio art major, was awarded the Thorne- Sagendorph/Art Department Student Fellowship Endowment. She will be available to give tours every Sunday at 3 p.m. when exhibits are open throughout the academic year. The tours are free and open to the public and reservations are not required.

The gallery is open from noon to 4 p.m. Saturday through Wednesday, and from noon to 7 p.m. Thursday and Friday. The gallery is open only when Keene State College is in session. Located on Wyman Way, the gallery is accessible to people with disabilities. To request accommodations for a disability, please call the Thorne Gallery, 603-358-2720, at least two weeks before your visit. For information about the Olitski exhibit, visit [

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