Rodolfo Morales exhibition is coming to Kennesaw State

The School of the Arts at Kennesaw State University announces an exhibition of paintings‚…

Georgia (Nov 7, 2002) — Rodolfo Morales exhibition is coming to Kennesaw State

Cheryl Anderson Brown


The School of the Arts at Kennesaw State University announces an exhibition of paintings‚ collages‚ lithographs and etchings by the late Rudolfo Morales. Opening two years after the maestro's death‚ "Magical Stories of Mexico" brings the best of his paintings to the United States in a special engagement. The exhibition opens Jan. 15 with Mexican music and food in the university's Sturgis Library Gallery and continues through Feb. 26.

"By the time of his death‚ Rodolfo Morales had achieved international recognition for his art‚" said Roberta Griffin‚ Kennesaw State's director of galleries. "He also had the world's gratitude for devoting his energy and income to restore 14 colonial churches and convents in Oaxaca."

Griffin‚ who curated this exhibition‚ will present a gallery lecture at 6:30 p.m. on Jan. 23.

Rodolfo Morales was born in 1925 in Ocotlan‚ a colonial town in the southern Mexican state of Oaxaca‚ where time moves slowly and where the past is always present in the architecture and traditional way of life. In his early twenties‚ he studied art in Mexico City and remained there‚ teaching art‚ for more than 30 years.

He worked alone in his studio‚ producing richly hued and dreamlike images of his childhood −− the ancient churches‚ the town square and arcaded shops‚ the colorful markets‚ the black toy−like trains and‚ always‚ the women of his town.

The women in Morales' paintings may be patiently sewing‚ playing in an orchestra in the plaza‚ sitting with a quartet of puppies at their feet‚ or holding huge masses of flowers in an enigmatic offering. The brilliant colors of the blooms contrast with their dark visages‚ their sturdy‚ black high−heeled shoes and embroidered white aprons. Their mute faces stare at the viewer and their wide eyes glow with an incandescent light.

Morales painted for 25 years before exhibiting his work. Then‚ Rufino Tamayo‚ a world−renowned Mexican artist and fellow Oaxacan‚ saw his art and became his mentor. Morales retired to Ocotlan‚ restored an 18th century colonial house and arose early each morning to paint in his studio. When he became famous‚ he used most of his income to restore the beloved churches he often depicted in his art. He was a quiet mentor to the younger artists of Oaxaca‚ encouraging them to find their own unique styles based on the experience of their lives‚ their dreams and memories. He died in January 2001.

Morales had previously exhibited his work at the university in the 1999 exhibition‚ "La Tierra M·gica: Contemporary Painters of Oaxaca."

"Magical Stories of Mexico" is presented as part of the KSU celebration of the Year of Mexico‚ co−sponsored by the School of the Arts‚ the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and the KSU International Center.

Most of the paintings in the exhibition are on loan from the Museo de la SecretarÌa de Hacienda y CrÈdito P™blico at the Antiguo Palacio del Arzobispado in MÈxico‚ while many of the prints and several paintings are on loan from Nancy Mayagoitia‚ founder of the FundaciÛn Rodolfo Morales in Oaxaca and a close friend of the artist. The family of Rodolfo Morales are also lending several paintings.

The public is invited to a fundraising pre−opening reception in the gallery on Sunday Jan. 12‚ followed by a buffet dinner prepared by a gourmet Mexican chef‚ live Mexican music and dancing. The cost of gala tickets is $75 per person. Nancy Mayagoitia and the director of the Museo de la Secretaria de Hacienda will be guests of honor.

Many of the works owned by Senora Mayagoitia will be for sale before and during the exhibition‚ with 30 percent of the proceeds benefiting the KSU Art Galleries. These proceeds are tax deductible. Purchasers of work by Maestro Morales will receive two free tickets to the gala and their names will appear in the exhibition catalogue if work is purchased by Dec. 16.

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NOTE: Slides and digital images from the exhibition are available.

Kennesaw State University is a comprehensive‚ residential institution with a growing student population of 15‚600 from 118 countries. The fifth largest out of 34 institutions in the University System of Georgia‚ KSU offers 55 undergraduate and graduate degree programs.


A leader in innovative teaching and learning, Kennesaw State University offers undergraduate, graduate and doctoral degrees to its nearly 43,000 students. With 11 colleges on two metro Atlanta campuses, Kennesaw State is a member of the University System of Georgia. The university’s vibrant campus culture, diverse population, strong global ties and entrepreneurial spirit draw students from throughout the country and the world. Kennesaw State is a Carnegie-designated doctoral research institution (R2), placing it among an elite group of only 6 percent of U.S. colleges and universities with an R1 or R2 status. For more information, visit