World-renowned award-winning artist Rita Blitt, painter, sculptor, film maker and her husband Irwin have selected Washburn University’s Mulvane Art Museum as a permanent home for a significant body of her life’s work. Rita Blitt’s work bridges the world of visual art, music, and dance, and creates unique opportunities to explore and celebrate art where vision, sound, and movement intersect. In addition to her art, Blitt and her husband Irwin have made a generous contribution to help pave the way for a stunning gallery addition and will continue the University’s proud history of celebrating fine arts.
The gift will also allow the museum to create traveling exhibitions that can be shared with museums and galleries across the country.
“Irwin and I selected Washburn University because of its commitment to the arts and vision for the future. I know the Mulvane will be a wonderful venue to exhibit my life’s work,” Blitt said. “I’m thrilled to provide this gift to both the University and the region.”
The gallery is the first phase of plans for a new performing arts venue that includes an intimate recital hall that seats 250, with performance space for instruction, rehearsals, concerts, small ensembles and civic events.
“Mulvane Art Museum is a wonderful regional resource, and this generous gift will bring new opportunities to our campus,” said Jerry Farley, president, Washburn University. “It’s an investment in the community, an investment in the University, and an investment in our students’ education.”
A Kansas City favorite, Blitt’s work can be seen in the collection of the Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art (NMOCA), the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art, Albrecht-Kemper Museum of Art, the John F. Kennedy Museum, the National Museum of Singapore and in many other museums.
Her monumental sculptures have been installed in front of the UMKC Performing Arts Center, the Plaza Library, Hillcrest Bank as well as other locations in Kansas City and throughout the world. Blitt’s works have been viewed in Australia, China, France, Germany, Israel, Italy, Japan, Singapore and Taiwan.
“We are humbled and deeply honored to receive this priceless gift from one of the most celebrated artists of our time,” said JuliAnn Mazachek, president, Washburn University Foundation. “Rita’s generosity and enthusiasm will allow us to create a wonderful space for her artwork, which will continue to inspire others for many years to come.”
The Washburn University Foundation, the designated alumni relations, fundraising and gift-stewardship organization for Washburn University, is committed to leading and coordinating the efforts to expand the University’s base of volunteer support, engagement and private financial support.