- Associated Press - Saturday, October 17, 2015

TOPEKA, Kan. (AP) - Kansas City-based artist Rita Blitt has donated about 800 pieces of her work to Washburn University’s Mulvane Art Museum.

The university announced Friday that Blitt, a painter, sculptor and film maker, and her husband, Irwin Blitt, also made a financial donation for a gallery addition. The gallery will be used to house Blitt’s art and help the museum prepare for traveling exhibits, The Topeka Capital-Journal reported (https://bit.ly/1kaBYAX ).

Washburn Foundation spokeswoman Kathy Busch said the Blitts did not want to publicize the amount of the monetary gift.

The addition will extend Washburn’s White Concert Hall to connect with a planned recital hall. The gallery could be completed in 18 months, but an exact timeline is not certain, Busch said.

A few of Blitt’s pieces are on display in White Concert Hall, and a 12-foot-tall sculpture is being installed outside Morgan Hall on the Washburn campus. Blitt’s work also has been shown in Australia, China, France, Germany, Israel, Singapore, Japan and Kansas City, according to her website.

Blitt said she wanted to find a place where her favorite pieces could be together and she was thrilled the gallery will be connected to a concert hall.

“How many people can say my dream has come true? It’s overwhelming,” she said. “This is beyond my dreams.”

Washburn President Jerry Farley said the donation will honor Blitt, increase the museum’s prestige and allow students to enjoy the visual and performing arts in new ways.

Blitt chose Washburn because of a friendship with Randy Pembrook, vice president of academic affairs, who said several disciplines at the school will benefit from the donation.


Information from: The Topeka (Kan.) Capital-Journal, https://www.cjonline.com

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