ADELPHI, MD.- UMUC
will host a ground-breaking ceremony for the Leroy Merritt Center for the Art of Joseph Sheppard on December 2, from 2–4 p.m., at UMUC’s Inn and Conference Center in Adelphi, Maryland. UMUC President Susan C. Aldridge, internationally renowned artist Joseph Sheppard, and Mike Batza and Henry Rosenberg will offer remarks. The $6 million, 5,500-square-foot gallery was designed by Baltimore architect James Grieves and is slated to open in September 2009. The gallery was fully funded by private donations from Baltimore real estate developer Leroy Merritt and dozens of other friends and supporters of Maryland art and UMUC’s Arts Program.
The Leroy Merritt Center will be located on the east side of the university’s Inn and Conference Center. It will include a light-infused gallery and magnificent indoor sculpture garden, both opening onto a spacious reception area. The gallery will display Sheppard’s paintings, on loan and in rotating exhibits, the first of which will include some of the more significant pieces from two of his most famous exhibitions: “Fifty Years of Art” and “Beast of Burden.” The sculpture garden will feature more than 20 of Sheppard’s finest bronze and marble sculptures, which have been donated to the Center.
“UMUC’s collection of Maryland and international art is spectacular, and the addition of the Leroy Merritt Center for the Art of Joseph Sheppard will serve to cement its worldwide reputation,” said UMUC President Susan C. Aldridge. “This beautiful addition to our existing galleries will stand as an enduring tribute to Sheppard, a vibrant center for lifelong learning and a unique focal point for our acclaimed arts collection.”
The design of the Leroy Merritt Center for the Art of Joseph Sheppard was influenced by Sheppard’s own artistic interpretations and love for Italian architecture. The Center will be equipped with mechanical systems designed specially to provide the climate controls needed to preserve the various works.