The Gillioz Theatre has hosted many great events in its nearly 100-year history, including its service as home to the OTC Fine Arts program for the last decade. Next semester, however, the program will move to the OTC Springfield Campus.
The Gillioz, with its architectural ambiance rich with visual textures, colors, and shapes, has provided OTC students with plenty of artistic inspiration, and the auditorium’s stage has been the setting for some of OTC’s program graduations and theater productions.
As a homage to the structure, the spring semester’s painting students have used the building as the subject for their art work one last time. Their art will be on display during First Friday Art Walk on May 5 in the first-floor lobby with a reception beginning at 5 p.m.
“Many art students’ sketchbook assignments have included exploring the formal art elements that surround us within the Gillioz walls. For many years, we have inspired and challenged students to sketch, photograph and create original paintings of the Gillioz,” said Kat Allie, director of the OTC Fine Arts program.
Erica Dutton, a first-year art student from Strafford, said she had attended events at the Gillioz but had never gone to the third floor until she took her painting class.
“I’m a big theater person. I love the marquee. It’s the first thing you see. I love the idea of painting the Gillioz,” she said.
Rachel Davidson, another first-year student, said she was really drawn to the building as an artistic subject and a location to take classes.
“I love how historic it looks and the colors of it,” she said. “I love coming here. I want to come back sometime.”
In addition to the current students’ artwork, there will be an image gallery on display that contains hundreds of pieces of artwork that have been inspired over the years by the Gillioz’s exposed brickwork, theater marquee and other unique architectural features inherent at its urban location.
Stephanie Austin decided on painting the building using an extreme angle from below the sign and up to the sky.
“It’s a little different look of the building,” she said. “I love the history of it and the old brick.”
In addition to the lobby exhibit, the Student Showcase Exhibition will be on display Friday on the third floor along with performances by OTC music and theater students.
“We will always treasure the Gillioz as a special location that helped us lay our own foundation as a Fine Arts Department and become a strong member of the greater Arts community,” Allie said.