ALTON, IL – May 11, 2012Opening on Friday, May 18, the next exhibition in the Main Gallery at Jacoby Arts Center will take you on a journey through 40 years of Thomas D. Gipe’s career as an artist and art educator with a unique blend of sculpture pieces, drawings, and prints representative of the artist’s many interests and talents.

The exhibit runs through July 1 and the Center will host an opening reception on Friday, May 18 from 5 to 8 p.m. as well as a gallery talk at 7 p.m. on June 13. The gallery talk allows for an opportunity to interact with the artist and learn more about their artistic career and technique. All exhibitions and their accompanying opening receptions and gallery talks are free and open to the public; a cash beverage bar will be available at the reception.

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During the years that Gipe was a professor of sculpture, he built the Master of Fine Arts in sculpture at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville into a nationally recognized program.  Over 40 M.F.A. candidates graduated and are university level artists/teachers, work in professional art foundries, or operate their own professional art studios.  He designed and supervised the building of the sculpture studio in the new art building at SIUE. This facility was the first in the nation to utilize a solid-state induction furnace to melt bronze, aluminum and iron.

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As a child Gipe enjoyed drawing cars, airplanes, animals, and creating three-dimensional objects.  His dream of making a living as an artist came true in his grandfather’s blacksmith shop.  His art represents the images and surroundings he grew up in.  Many of Gipe’s pieces exert the talent, which he has developed as a draftsman, blacksmith, and printmaker.  Symbolic elements give the viewer a glimpse of Gipe’s childhood, career as a teacher, and lifelong journey as an artist.

Located at 627 East Broadway in Alton, Illinois, Jacoby Arts Center is open Tuesdays through Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., late on Thursdays until 8 p.m., and closed on Sundays and Mondays. For more information, visit or call 618-462-5222.

Jacoby Arts Center is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to foster the artistic development and economic success of artists, and to expand accessibility to the arts through programs that promote education, participation and exploration.

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