October 25, 2012Vol. 43, Issue 2

Sicily Revisited

Jean Gallagher Paints the Tarantello

Artist Jean Gallagher, Art and Art History, will exhibit new work entitled Sicily Revisited at the Museo Italo Americano in San Francisco from Dec. 14, 2012, to March 10, 2013.

Eighteen large-scale figurative oil paintings will depict the tarantella dance, popular in Sicily and Southern Italy since the 11th century. The frenzied dance symbolically resurrects those persons bitten by the tarantula spider. Gallagher’s grandmother, Rosie Lentini, a native from Capizzi, Sicily, danced the dance from memory at American family gatherings. Her “Haori” paintings, which are derivative from the Japanese kimono, were influenced by her grandmother’s self-taught ability to work with fabric. Though Rosie could not read English, she managed to design and sew garments via the pictures contained in the pattern instructions as a seamstress in New York City. Following her grandmother’s approach to sewing, Gallagher developed an excellent sense of visual literacy.

Gallagher received her doctorate in arts from New York University and has been an art professor at CSU, Chico since 1990. She has shown her work nationally at universities, galleries, and museums and has been a recipient of many grants including the National Endowment for the Arts.