Molloy College Art Gallery

The Molloy College Art Gallery exhibits nationally and internationally renowned artists throughout the year and holds two student exhibitions each year. Recognized by the New York Times and Newsday, the gallery was founded in 1997 with a mission to promote and support Long Island artists and Long Island arts organizations.

Current Exhibit

"BA Djibril Ngawa" Molloy College is excited to present the work of Ba Djibril Ngawa at the Frank and Gertrude Kaiser Art Gallery June 27 - July 30.  There will be an opening reception on Saturday June 27 from 1 p.m.-3 p.m. The public is invited to the opening and to meet the artist who will be in attendance.  The exhibit features photographs and paintings inspired by the shapes, colors, traditions and nature that surrounded the artist during his childhood. Several pieces are accompanied by verse written by the artist. 

Ba Djibril Ngawa is an artist raised in a pastoral nomadic community in Mauritania. Ngawa describes his art as "freedom of creation, expression and an invitation to a permanent and endless journey of learning, depicting, discovering the invisible, and trying to understand the unknown, the mystic." When he first exhibited his photographs in Naukchott, Mauritania, his art was well received by the public who were unaware that people stilled lived in the nomadic traditions depicted.

Ngawa's first show in the United States was in January 2011 at the African Poetry Theater in Jamaica, Queens and he has since exhibited in numerous public and private spaces. His most recent exhibitions include Father Rayan Arts Center Pittsburg, Pennsylvania 2014, St. Peters Lutheran Church 2014, Shelter Rock Art Gallery 2014, Contemporary abstract art 'I kan do that' at Skylight Gallery 2014.

A member of the Long Island Black Artists Association, Ngawa participated in a group exhibit at the Kaiser Art Gallery in February 2014, at which he was awarded the Charles Winslow Memorial Award for Excellence in Art.  The award was accompanied by a Solo Exhibition at Molloy's Kaiser Art Gallery.  Charles Winslow was one of the founding members of the Long Island Black Artists Association, begun in 1968 its mission to help the African American artist find a conduit for exhibiting their work.  The Frank and Gertrude Kaiser Art Gallery at Molloy College summer hours are Monday through Thursday 9:30am to 5pm., closed during the month of August. For additional information please contact the gallery at or 516.323.3196.

Past Exhibits

"Time's Up!" Molloy College's Graduating Bachelors of Fine Arts and Bachelor's of Science in Visual Arts Education. May 3 - June 15. 

Molloy College Art Faculty Small Works Exhibition. March 31 - April 29.

Purvis Young, Derek Webster, Roy Finster and Folk Friends

February 6 - March 25, 2015. Molloy College will be closed February 16 and March 16 - March 20
The Frank and Gertrude Kaiser Art Gallery at Molloy College will exhibit Contemporary African-American Folk Art/Outsider Art including the work of Purvis Young, Roy Finster and Derek Webster in honor of Black History month February 2015. The exhibit will include paintings, sculpture and works on paper and will be open from February 6 through March 25.   Molloy College will be closed on February 16 and March 16-20. A film series on the African American Artist will be shown in February every Tuesday at 3:15 p.m. in the Art Gallery. The selections for the exhibition come from the Molloy College Collection of Contemporary African-American Art and is available to travel.Gallery hours: Monday - Friday 9:30 a.m. - 5 p.m. For additional information and images, please email

Purvis Young (February 4, 1943 - April 20, 2010) was an American artist from the Overtown neighborhood of Miami, Florida. Young's work, often a blend of collage and painting, utilizes found objects and the experience of African Americans in the south. A self-taught artist, Young gained recognition as a cult contemporary self-taught artist, with a collectors' following including the likes of Jane Fonda, Damon Wayans, Jim Belushi, Dan Aykroyd, among others. In 2006 a feature documentary entitled Purvis of Overtown was produced about his life and work. His work is found in the collections of the American Folk Art Museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the High Museum of Art, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Philadelphia Museum of Art, among others. Purvis Young was born in Liberty City, a neighborhood of Miami, Florida on February 2, 1943As a young boy his uncle introduced him to drawing, but Young lost interest quickly. He never attended high school. As a teenager Young served three years (1961-64) in prison at North Florida's Raiford State Penitentiary for breaking and entering. While in prison he would regain his interest in art and began drawing and studying art books. When released, he began to produce thousands of small drawings, which he kept in shopping carts and later glued into discarded books and magazines that he found on the streets. He proceeded to move into the Overtown neighborhood of Miami. Young found himself attracted to a vacant alley called Goodbread Alley, which was named after the Jamaican bakeries that once occupied the street; he would start living there in 1971. In the early 1970s Young found inspiration in the mural movements of Chicago and Detroit, and decided to create a mural of inspiration Overtown. He had never painted before, but inspiration struck and he began to create paintings and nailing them to the boarded up storefronts that formed the alley. He would paint on wood he found on the streets and occasionally paintings would "disappear" from the wall, but Young didn't mind. About two years after starting the mural, tourists started visiting the alley, mainly white tourists. Occasionally Young would sell paintings to visitors - tourists and collectors alike - right off the wall. The mural garnered media attention, including the attention of millionaire Bernard Davis, owner of the Miami Art Museum. Davis became a patron of Young's, providing him with painting supplies as well. Davis died in 1973, leaving Young a local celebrity in Miami. In the late 1990s and early 2000s he began exploring other inspirations by watching historical documentaries about war, the Great Depression, commerce, and Native American conflicts and struggles in the United States. In 1999 the Rubell family, notable art collectors from New York purchased the entire content of Young's studio, a collection of almost 3,000 pieces. In 2008 the Rubells donated 108 works to Morehouse College. With artistic success came monetary gain, and Young failed to maintain his estate. Before his death he became involved in a legal battle with former manager, Martin Siskind. Young sued Siskind for mismanagement of funds. In response, Siskind successfully petitioned for Young to be declared mentally incompetent and Young's affairs were placed in control of legal guardians. According to friends, Young was not incompetent and was left destitute by the procedures. Siskind stated that he and Young had settled the suit amicably, and that Young retained ownership of 1,000 paintings and was financially stable. Young suffered from diabetes, and towards the latter years of his life he had other health problems, undergoing a kidney transplant in 2007. Purvis Young died on April 20, 2010, in Miami. Young found strong influence in Western art history and voraciously absorbed books from his nearby public library by Rembrandt, Vincent van Gogh, Gauguin, El Greco, Daumier and Picasso His work was vibrant and colorful, and was described as appearing like fingerpainting. Reoccurring themes in his work were angels, wild horses, and urban landscapes. Through his works he expressed social and racial issues, and served as an outspoken activist about politics and bureaucracy.

Derek Webster Born April 26, 1934, Republic of Honduras.  Attended school through sixth grade, Belize. Died December 2009, Chicago, Illinois. Derek Webster uses discarded materials and objects to create figures in energetic poses reminiscent of carnival dancers and masqueraders. When he was only a child, Webster's family fled Honduras to escape a revolution.  They settled in Belize, where Webster grew up.  When he grew older, Webster spent two years working on banana boats, but by 1964 he divided he wanted a different kind of life.  He left the boat he was on when it docked in Florida, then immediately moved to Chicago.  In Chicago, Webster found employment as a janitor for the Michael Reese Hospital and worked there from 1964 to 1968.  For the next twenty years he worked for the Veliscol Company, and currently he is employed by the Ontario Center. In 1979 Webster bought a brick home in a working-class neighborhood on Chicago's west side and began "fixing it up," He placed colorful constructions on the front lawn and in the back because, he explains, "I like to look at something different." "Art critics tell me that my art is African," Derek Webster, who is Black, says, "but I don't believe it.  I have a gift, and they [the figures] just come out of me."  When he began decorating his home in 1979, he says, "Ideas came to me about how to decorate a yard.  I could see the figures in my mind.  I just went down in the basement and began making them." In 1982 Paul Waggoner, who operated a gallery in Chicago, made a wrong turn while driving through the neighborhood and discovered Webster's house with all its bright trappings.  He told art critics about the artist, and the Phylis Kind Gallery began to show his work. Webster makes brightly colored and highly decorated figurative assemblages.  Most appear to be carnival dancers, many of them women, and may derive from his memories of Carnival when he lied in Belize.  The artist has given them names like Old Man Sambo and Wild Lady.  Some of the sculptural figures have more than one face:  "I see faces all around, on elbows, fingers, and knees," the artist declares, and so he includes them in his work. Sometimes Webster incorporates birdlike appendages on his human figures, and he also sculpts birds that look like they, too, are carnival participants. The wood and basic materials for Webster's assemblages come from Chicago's alleys.  He nails and glues the wood into the shapes he wants, paints the figures with house paint and aluminum radiator paint, and decorates them with cast-off costume jewelry, broken watches, tokens, and all sorts of bright throwaways.  He then shellacs the finished products, partly to preserve them and partly to make them shine. The artist has completed about three hundred works, ranging in size from 12 inches high to an impressive 7 feet. Derek Webster's highly decorated figures of black men and women are represented in most major collection of Chicago folk art.  The artist has not been well known outside the Chicago area, but in 1989 he was included in "Black Art-Ancestral Legacy:  The African Impulse in African-American Art" at the Dallas Museum of Art in Dallas, Texas.

Roy Finster (1941- present), the son of Howard Finster, resides in Summerville, GA. His style closely resembles his fathers. He enjoys painting bust cutouts of country, blues, Motown and rock stars as well as political figures and devils. In 1995 Roy quit his job as a handyman at the Chatooga County Hospital in order to paint full-time. Among his accomplishments, he claims that Johnny Cash owns one of his "Johnny Cash" series and that President Bill Clinton has a painting Roy made of him. His other subjects include historical figures, religious visions, devils, angels, and the "57 Chevy Bel Air. Roy actually seems to have little understanding of why he paints, besides the fact that it now "pays the bills." But even his consciousness of the marketplace is cloudy. "Painting for me is a lifetime of enjoyment ... and other people seem to like what I do" he says. Roy says that his work is different from his father's because he spends more time on each painting.

Eric Dever

"Poor Art Student... 11!" January 6 through February 3

The Molloy College Art Gallery is proud to present Poor Art Student... 11!, an exhibition displaying the work of current art majors and includes painting, sculpture, drawings, prints and ceramics. Poor Art Student is curated by Cristina Artusa, M.S., Art Gallery Assistant Director.  This is the eleventh installment of this student exhibition. Poor Art Student will be on view from January 6 - February 3. The closing reception is scheduled for Tuesday February 3, from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. in the Kaiser Art Gallery located in the Public Square building at Molloy College.  The public is invited to attend. For additional information, please call 516.323.3196 or email All exhibitions are free and open to the public. Opening receptions are held for all exhibitions. Gallery hours: Monday to Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Call 516.323.3196, or email

The Rose Chapel
November 6 - December 20

The Frank and Gertrude Kaiser Art Gallery at Molloy College is proud to partner with Berry Campbell Gallery in New York to present an exhibition of thirteen important paintings by Eric Dever. Eric Dever: The Rose Chapel, brings the viewer through a spiritual journey, similar to the path of the artist himself, which in his painting over the past ten years has moved from darkness to light; from materiality to spirituality and from the earthbound to the transcendent. The exhibition will run from November 6 through December 20, 2014.

Mr. Dever will give an informal talk in the gallery on November 6th from 2-3pm and the reception will follow.

In the beginning of this decade long process Dever limited his palette to white alone - Zinc and Titanium white, enabling him to uncover a white spectrum ranging from opacity to translucency. He later introduced black to the work, widening the range and force of the paintings. These compositions were largely geometric, including circles graded from dark to light. In 2010, Dever began testing a variety of prepared red hues and arrived at Napthol Scarlet, a modern replacement for Vermillion, and working it into some of the earlier compositions and treating it for what it was, generally speaking, red. He discovered that the range and quantity of tones were staggering, and all from red, white, and black alone.

This approach embraces Dever's interest in color's shifting correspondence with matter (black) to energy (red) to light and self-realization (white). Each wall of the Molloy gallery reflects this path dramatically, whether encompassed in one painting or reflected in groups of three or more.

These recent paintings are breakthrough explorations, through and beyond the artist's earlier formal inquiries. While the grid still resides within, each painting emerges into free shapes and tactile surfaces achieved by work with brush and knife. The starting point for this group of paintings, both in its essence, genus, was nothing more than an actual rose from his garden, which he deconstructed, letting the energetic qualities of color, line, and form emerge, presenting disclosures of yet richer, more rare hues. The most recent of these paintings represent a variation on that singular, original rose, with the additional element of the rose's stamen. This new inclusion of an elemental form in the center of the canvas suggests the rose itself as both a microcosm and macrocosm.

The Chapelle du Rosaire du Vence (Vence Chapel or Matisse Chapel), a small chapel built for the Dominican Sisters in the South of France during 1948-51, The Sistine Chapel, The Vatican, Rome, as well as the Rothko Chapel, Houston, Texas all parallel Dever's installation of the "Rose Chapel" at Molloy College - founded by the Dominican Sisters of the Congregation of the Holy Cross.

Dever gives additional investigation of the physical space of the gallery as chapel by double hanging six, large-scale 'rose' paintings on the major wall. Not only the viewer, but the space itself, is overwhelmed by these paintings. The viewer is invited to become integrated within the space, harkening the floor to ceiling frescoes of Michelangelo. Dever's concept illuminates both creation and awakening. The intensity of the installation at Molloy College relates to the experience at the Rothko Chapel. Simplicity becomes complexity as we further investigate each painting and grouping.

Since the early 1990s, Dever's work has been included in numerous one-person and group exhibitions throughout New York, as well as in Illinois, Ohio, Texas, New Mexico, and France. Last spring, he participated in REDACTED, an exhibition at the Islip Art Museum curated by Janet Goleas. Most recently, Dever had a solo show at Berry Campbell Gallery in Chelsea. Eric Dever: The Rose Chapel at Molloy College will run from November 6 through December 20, 2014.

Kaiser Gallery hours are Monday through Friday 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and two hours before theater events at the Madison Theater at Molloy College. The gallery will be closed for Thanksgiving from Wednesday November 26 and will reopen on Monday December 1.

For more information on Eric Dever, please contact the Kaiser Art Gallery at (tel. 516.323.3196). Eric Dever is represented by Berry Campbell Gallery, New York: (tel. 212.924.2178).

Recent 2014 Exhibits

Lockwood Dennis: Woodcuts and Prints

The Frank and Gertrude Kaiser Art Gallery at Molloy College will exhibit the work of Lockwood Dennis. Dennis was a Seattle-based West Coast artist whose work often emulated the Regionalist work of Grant Wood and Thomas Hart Benton. The strong solid structure of his paintings and especially the woodcuts follows this philosophy. Dennis graduated from the Art School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston and is in the collections of Microsoft and the Tacoma Museum in Seattle, Washington among others. The artist muses on the philosophy behind his work: "For me, though, what animates a picture is what animate the objects in the picture. An attitude. I see it when I'm sketching. Houses watching a street. Cars disagreeing with each other. Trucks happily cresting a hill, trundling off into the distance. Factories outdoing each other. And trees, full of very dark observations on the events around them. Water, a brooding, waiting peril.  Sunlight, the one benign presence, saying for everything it touches, "I exist!"  And color sets the mood, the contextual feeling which always relates to a time of day: the unknown forces of night,  reassuring morning light, hard severity of mid-day, the uneasy portents of evening."

For additional information and photographs please contact the gallery at or call 516.323.3196.

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Art Gallery
1000 Hempstead Avenue Kellenberg Building, First Floor Rockville Centre, New York 11571-5002