Nicholas Miroslav Paley led the life of an extraordinary Beloiter. Born in 1911 in Ukraine, he studied in Poland and Rome before immigrating to the United States. He earned doctorate degree in Latin-American Literature, and co-founded the Beloit College Russian Studies Program. Besides these achievements, he wrote original poetry in Spanish and Ukrainian, and after his retirement continued to instruct the occasional Italian language course.
In true Beloit fashion, Paley left Beloit with another legacy: a large painting that he entered in the 19th Annual Beloit & Vicinity Art Exhibition, circa 1976. The juror of the show that year, John Maxon, wrote of the exhibition, "What is, perhaps, a bit unnerving is that the easy access of the art press means that ideas travel at desperate speed." Unnerving, perhaps, but undeniably thrilling.
The Beloit & Vicinity Exhibition has always served as a way to unite students, faculty, and staff with the outside community. It is a place to share, experiment, show off, ask impossible questions, and feast our senses. What more can we ask of art?
Lawrence Salomon, who judged the 15th annual show in 1972, put it this way: "The myth that the artist works only in his little corner of space removed and unaffected by society still persists. In fact the opposite is true: the artist depends upon his audience for survival. Ultimately, he may be the most vulnerable of all to being seen, received and understood. The importance of the Beloit and Vicinity Show is precisely that it provides an arena for the artist to interact with his public, and thus exist."
Professor Nicholas Paley's artwork is just one part of this extraordinary history of interaction; this year's show brings together a new melange of ideas, all waiting to captivate your eyes and your mind.
Celebrate the opening of this year's Beloit & Vicinity Exhibition at the Wright Museum of Art on June 11 from 4:30 p.m. to 6:30 pm. Awards will be announced at 5:30 pm.