Neil Welliver: Recent Paintings and Prints at Boston University’s 808 Gallery co-sponsored by L.L. Bean and Putnam Investments

in Arts, College of Fine Arts, News Releases, Science & Technology
March 1st, 2000

Contact: Joan Schwartz, | joans@bu.edu

(Boston, Mass.) — Boston University hosts Neil Welliver: Recent Paintings and Prints, March 3 through April 2 in the University’s 808 Gallery, 808 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston. The exhibition has been made possible with the generous support of L.L. Bean and Putnam Investments. All artwork is courtesy of Tibor de Nagy Gallery, New York. An opening reception will be held on Thursday, March 2, from 5 to 8 p.m. in the gallery.

The Maine woods have been central to Welliver’s life and art for the past thirty years. The companies supporting this exhibition all share his love of nature and his support for the Nature Conservancy’s efforts to preserve the beauty of the Maine landscape.

By joining forces, Boston University, L.L. Bean, Welliver, and Putnam Investments have created a unique opportunity to promote awareness of a special campaign to raise funds for the acquisition of the largest undeveloped tract of land in the eastern United States.

L.L. Bean, Inc. has a tradition of supporting conservation efforts to preserve our natural resources and has had a long term funding relationship with the Nature Conservancy. L.L. Bean President Leon Gorman and his wife Lisa made a leadership pledge of $1 million toward the Nature Conservancy campaign to purchase 185,000 acres of land along the upper St. John River. “Preservation [of the upper St. John River watershed] is comparable to Percival Baxter’s preservation of Baxter State Park,” says Gorman.

Welliver recently joined in the effort to protect this natural treasure in his beloved home state by agreeing to donate a portion of the proceeds from the sale of a limited edition etching/aquatint of the painting “Synthetic Blue – St. John,” owned by the Gormans, to benefit the historic conservation project.

“This is a nationally significant project,” explains Chris Harte, a member of the Board of Trustees of the Maine Chapter of the Nature Conservancy. “It will not only change the landscape of Maine, but will impact how people across the country view forestland protection forever.”

Welliver has been a seminal influence in American landscape painting. His work is included in such prominent collections as the Hirschhorn Museum, Washington, D.C.; Museum of Fine Arts, Boston; the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston; Philadelphia Museum of Art; San Francisco Museum of Modern Art; and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Museum of Modern Art, and the Whitney Museum of American Art in New York; as well as the Farnsworth Museum in his home state of Maine. Welliver’s emphasis on painting from life lies at the heart of the teaching tradition at the Boston University School for the Arts, making this exhibition a particularly appropriate one for the University.

Former Poet Laureate Mark Strand will present a reading in celebration of the exhibition just prior to the opening. It will be held at 4 p.m. in the School for the Arts Concert hall, 855 Commonwealth Avenue. Both Welliver and Strand will attend the opening reception.

Copies of the limited edition etching/aquatint, “Synthetic Blue – St. John,” which helps to support the Nature Conservancy’s Upper St. John River project, are available through Tibor de Nagy Gallery. To obtain further information about purchasing a print call 212/262-5050.

The Nature Conservancy, an international non-profit conservation group with chapters in all 50 states, works to preserve the plants, animals, and natural communities on Earth by protecting the lands and waters they need to survive. To date the Conservancy has protected over 11 million acres in the U.S. and Canada. For more information on the St. John River project, call the Maine chapter at 207/729-5181.

The exhibition and all related events are free and open to the public. Further information about the exhibition is available online at http://www.neilwelliver.com or by calling the Boston University School for the Arts at 617/358-0200.

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