Art Contribution Paves the Way for New Recital Hall

Anna Cuimmo

Internationally acclaimed painter and sculptor Rita Blitt has recently donated a sizable amount of her life’s work to the Mulvane Art Museum.

The works Blitt has contributed will significantly expand the collection held at Mulvane, and is bringing about many new opportunities for both students and the public. The donation is intended to begin the process of a new recital hall that will be built as an addition to White Concert Hall. Connie Gibbons, director of Mulvane Art Museum, is very excited about the potential this donation brings to Washburn.

“We are finalizing the building process of the recital hall,” Gibbons said. “Our goal is to create a space to exhibit Blitt’s work, and also to have educational programs for students that are interested in doing creative research projects. The students will be able to utilize Blitt’s work.”

Gibbons explained that university plans to build the gallery for Blitt’s work, and then construct the recital hall afterwards.

“Rita has been a pretty active artist over the years, and collaborated with dancers and musicians,” continued Gibbons. “It’s not uncommon to see her work along with music and dance. With the recital hall, visual arts and music can all intersect to create a unique program.”

There are also potential scholarship opportunities for Washburn students because of this contribution. Gibbons said she hopes to see a yearly research program that awards students because of their hard work.

“This recital hall will become a place that students can be creative,” said Gibbons. “The ability to hold such a comprehensive collection really deepens our educational framework in terms of how we engage students and the public.”

The recital hall’s completion is tentatively scheduled for December of 2017. It is hoped to become an attraction for students, faculty and Topeka community members alike.

“The more I talk about it, the more excited I get about its potential,” Gibbons said.