LSU School of Art’s Glassell Gallery to Host “Mysteries: Works by Michael Crespo” Exhibit Oct. 27-Dec. 14

10/04/2012 10:44 AM

BATON ROUGE – The LSU School of Art’s Alfred C. Glassell Jr. Exhibition Gallery will present a new exhibit featuring works created by the late Michael Crespo, a former faculty member of the LSU School of Art.


“Mysteries: Works by Michael Crespo,” will be on display from Oct. 27 – Dec. 14 at the gallery, located in the Shaw Center for the Arts, 100 Lafayette Street. Admission is free and open to the public.


This collection of oil paintings and works on paper curated by Libby Johnson and on loan from Crespo’s estate features works completed in the last decade of Crespo’s life. Several works have never been shown publicly. An exhibition catalog will accompany the show.


As a painter, Crespo was well known for his powerful, yet sensitive paintings, which were done in a style of fantastic realism characterized by strong contrasts between light and dark. His oil and watercolors are included in many public and private collections throughout the U.S., and his work has graced the covers of magazines and publications, including four best-selling books he published on the fundamentals of painting.


“Michael Crespo was an all-around master,” said Rod Parker, director of the LSU School of Art. “He was disciplined and rigorous as a painter, and understanding as a teacher.”


As a professor, Crespo was beloved for putting his students first and selflessly sharing with them his advice and expertise. He was a member of the faculty of the School of Art for nearly 40 years, serving as director of the school from 1990-96 and as interim director in 2002-03. He delighted in teaching students at every level of the program, and received the university’s Distinguished Faculty Award in 1999 and an endowed Alumni Professorship in 2000.


“He was respected by colleagues from across the university and the wider community, and adored by his students for his patience and generosity of spirit,” Parker said of Crespo.


Born in New Orleans in 1947, Crespo moved to Baton Rouge as a child. He attended LSU and received his bachelor’s degree from the School of Art. He attended graduate school at Queens College, CUNY, and received a Master of Fine Arts degree in 1970, before returning to Baton Rouge and joining the faculty of the School of Art the following year.


Over the next three decades, he established himself as one of the leading southern artists of the day. Among the collections where his work appears are the Ogden Museum of Southern Art and the Aquarium of the Americas, both in New Orleans; Hunter Museum of Art in Chattanooga, Tenn.; Nordstrom’s Inc. in Seattle; Taco Bell Corporation corporate headquarters in San Diego; Promus Corporation headquarters in Memphis, Tenn; and the Duke Energy Collection in Houston. His many awards included an artist fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts/Southern Arts Federation and a Visual Arts Fellowship from the Louisiana Division of the Arts.


The exhibit is supported in part by Carl and Susie Blyskal, Nadine C. Russell and members of the G3: Glassell Gallery Group. It is also supported by a grant from the Louisiana Division of the Arts, Office of Cultural Development, Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism in cooperation with the Louisiana State Arts Council as administered by the Arts Council of Greater Baton Rouge.


A celebratory reception will be held on Friday, Nov. 2, from 6-8 p.m. at the gallery. Admission is free and open to the public.


For more information contact Kristin Malia Krolak, gallery coordinator, at 225-389-7180 or email

Aaron  Looney 
LSU Media Relations

Posted on Thursday, October 4, 2012