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Francis Celentano (American, born 1928), Delta Black and White, 1971, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 70", courtesy of the artist, Seattle, Washington and the Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, Oregon. Photo: Mike SeidlFrancis Celentano (American, born 1928), Delta Black and White, 1971, acrylic on canvas, 50 x 70", courtesy of the artist, Seattle, Washington and the Laura Russo Gallery, Portland, Oregon. Photo: Mike Seidl

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Hallie Ford Museum of Art features Celentano retrospective

 Francis Celentano is a highly regarded Seattle painter and professor emeritus from the University of Washington who explores issues of color, shape, form and structure in abstract, geometric works. A major 45-year retrospective exhibition of Celentano's work opens Nov. 20, 2010 and continues through Jan. 16, 2011, at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art. Organized by director John Olbrantz, the exhibition includes 34 works from public and private collections in Oregon and Washington.

Born and raised in New York, Celentano earned his bachelor's and master's degrees in art history from the Institute of Fine Arts at New York University. He was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship and spent a year in Rome, painting and traveling in Italy, France and Spain. Back in New York, Celentano continued to paint in an abstract expressionist style but gradually embraced the tenets of Op art, a movement that emerged in the 1960s and that makes use of optical illusions.

In 1965, Celentano was included in the landmark exhibition, "The Responsive Eye," curated by William C. Seltz and held at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. The exhibition brought national attention to the Op art movement and many of its artists, including Richard Anuszkiewicz, Ellsworth Kelly, Bridgit Riley, Frank Stella and Celentano. The following year Celentano assumed a full-time teaching position in the School of Art at the University of Washington in Seattle, where he continued to teach for the next thirty years.    

Teachers' workshop and gallery talks

In conjunction with "Francis Celentano: Form and Color," the Hallie Ford Museum of Art has planned a workshop for educators who are interested in bringing their classes to see the exhibition. The purpose of the workshop is to help teachers prepare students for a field trip to the exhibition, develop strategies to tour the exhibition and propose ideas that reinforce the gallery experience and broaden curriculum concepts once back in the classroom.

Elizabeth Garrison, the Cameron Paulin Curator of Education at the Hallie Ford Museum of Art, will lead the workshop Tuesday, Nov. 30 from 4-5:30 p.m. at the museum. Admission to the workshop is free, although advance registration is required. Please call (503) 370-6855 to register.

In addition to the workshop, the museum will present a series of Tuesday gallery talks Dec. 7 and 14, 2010 and Jan. 4 and 11, 2011 beginning at 12:30 p.m. in the Melvin Henderson-Rubio Gallery. Admission is free.

"Francis Celentano: Form and Color" has been supported in part by grants from the City of Salem's Transient Occupancy Tax funds and the Oregon Arts Commission.

For more information, please call (503) 370-6855 or visit the museum's website.

11-15-2010