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Chicago artist brings 'House' to VU
PROVIDED PHOTO Thomas Kapsalis discusses his work recently with Tom Brand, a fellow artist, at the opening of his exhibit at Valparaiso University’s Brauer Museum of Art.

Chicago-based artist Thomas H. Kapsalis had a chance to critique more than a half century of his own work when the pieces that make up his "Artist's House" exhibit were selected.

"When they were choosing all these works, I was delighted to see that I had a certain focus in what I wanted to do," he said. "That made me feel really good about what I had done."

Bringing his "House" to Valparaiso University's Brauer Museum of Art through March 21, Kapsalis, 84, was reared in and still resides in Chicago.

After serving in World War II, Kapsalis studied and received bachelor's and master's degrees at Chicago's School of the Art Institute.

Kapsalis would remain at the School of the Art Institute as an instructor for more than 50 years. Nearly two decades ago, he lessened his workload and was able to concentrate on his own artistic endeavors.

"For many years, when you're teaching, it takes a lot out of you and makes it difficult to do creative work," he said. "Turning 65, I started doing more work. I feel that (my art) has improved tremendously (with age)."

"House," which opened at Brauer Museum Dec. 4, consists of more than 40 abstract paintings and sculptures created by Kapsalis between 1947 and 2008.

"I think that they're all kind of a playful and imaginative exploration of the language of art itself; color, line, shape, texture, surface," said Brauer Museum of Art director Gregg Hertzleib. "Tom's working with the style of classic modern art, and has stayed dedicated and true to that style for many, many years. I think that's remarkable and admirable."

In addition to his exhibit, a documentary about Kapsalis' life and art will also be shown throughout the duration of the exhibit. The video was produced by the Cuentos Foundation, a Chicago-based arts organization. 

Kapsalis is scheduled to participate in a coffee hour discussion of his exhibit 7 p.m. Jan. 13 at Brauer Museum and for a gallery talk 7 p.m. Jan. 27.

Additionally, Hertzleib will host a coffee hour 7 p.m. Feb. 3 to discuss the exhibit and video.

The Brauer Museum of Art is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Wednesday and 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. They will be closed for the holidays Dec. 24 through Jan. 4.

'Thomas H. Kapsalis: Artist's House, Paintings and Sculpture, 1947-2008' through March 21

WHERE: Brauer Museum of Art, Valparaiso University, 1700 Chapel Drive, Valparaiso

COST: Free