University News

Art Gallery Celebrates Black History Month

Published: January 13, 2020 | Categories: Arts and Sciences, All News

January 26 to February 27

Artwork by Don Blanton

In celebration of Black History Month, Western New England University will present "Keeping the Arts Alive," a program featuring artist and educator Don Blanton from January 26 to February 27, 2020. The gallery, located in the St. Germain Campus Center, will host a gallery talk on Thursday, February 6 at 4:00 p.m. followed by an artist reception from 5:00-6:30 p.m. All gallery events are free and open to the public.

Blanton works in a variety of media including sculpture, painting, and wearable art. He is well known for his alabaster sculptures and is credited with the development of the feather stone technique, which gives the appearance of stained glass or marble when coated onto a natural product.

"Art enhances the value of life in many people," says Blanton, "That’s why I feel it is important to keep the arts alive."

Blanton is also the creator and founder of the ArtEsteem program. Intended to foster self-esteem through the arts, the program can be individualized for specific groups and promotes freedom of expression in a structured learning environment.

ArtEsteem has been implemented in school enrichment programs, hospitals, museums, retirement communities, drug prevention programs, and other special programs sponsored in part through community grants. In his Keeping the Arts Alive exhibition, Blanton is joined by some of his students and ArtEsteem participants to show works that demonstrate the common language of art "which connects people of all ages and ethnicities."

Blanton studied art at Merrick School of Art and Drama in Los Angeles, CA. He is the owner of Distinctive Art Studio in Springfield, MA, and has exhibited his work in the George Walter Vincent Art Museum in Springfield, MA, at the Harvard University Art Festival in Cambridge, MA, and at the Black Expo in Atlanta, GA. In 2013, he had an exhibit in Disney World, Orlando, FL, which featured 22 of his paintings and sculptures, some made specifically for the event.

For information and directions to the gallery visit or call the University at 413-782-1203.