Artist Julian Stanczak’s third exhibit to open at Kelvin Smith Library Feb. 5

Inward-Yellow Filtration
Inward-Yellow Filtration (1981)

The work of Julian Stanczak, world-renowned painter and pioneer in Optical Art, is being featured in a series of four exhibitions at Kelvin Smith Library. The third exhibit, “Substance and Illusion,” will be on display Feb. 5-March 28, in the library’s newly renovated art gallery.

The opening reception for the exhibit will be held on Wednesday, Feb. 5, from 4 to 6 p.m. Those interested in attending the reception are encouraged to RSVP online.

The series at Kelvin Smith Library is a retrospective of Stanczak’s work, moving in chronological order of the art’s creation. The work of many Op Artists is aggressive and dazzling, but in the 1980s, Stanczak began producing works of a gentler, more philosophical, more meditative character, which challenge the viewer to distinguish between real substance and illusion. “Substance and Illusion” features ghostly apparitions of color that float off the picture surface, like a palpable spiritual presence.

Stanczak’s work has been exhibited around the world and is represented in more than 85 museums and 100 public collections. Also a distinguished educator, Stanczak began his 38-year teaching career in 1957 at the Art Academy of Cincinnati and the University of Cincinnati. In 1964, he became a professor of painting at Cleveland Institute of Art, a position he held until his retirement in 1995.

The dates and titles of upcoming exhibits are:

  • “Substance and Illusion”: Feb. 4-March 28
  • “Pushing the Envelope: New Dimensions of Color”: April 3-June 6

The exhibits are free and open to the public with valid photo ID during the library’s regular business hours. Learn more at