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School of Education recognizes Rita Blitt for artwork collections

Friday, April 12, 2019

LAWRENCE – Rita Blitt, award-winning painter, sculptor and filmmaker, will be recognized by the School of Education at the University of Kansas for her recent gift of original artwork now lining the halls of Joseph R. Pearson Hall.

The reception will be at 2 p.m. Thursday, April 18, in the second-floor commons area of Joseph R. Pearson Hall. The event is free and open to the public. An RSVP is not required to attend.

Blitt, a lifelong philanthropist, often donates sets of her art to various organizations across the United States. In fall 2018, Blitt’s representative, Bill McDevitt, visited Joseph R. Pearson Hall in part of a search to identify a building on campus that offered appropriate space for artwork to be displayed. The School of Education accepted a set of 22 installations that were put on display in February 2019.

“This was such a generous donation and one that brings life and beauty to our building,” said Lon Dehnert, assistant dean of the School of Education. “Rita’s works are vibrant and alive, and we could not be more pleased to receive them from such a generous, talented, and wonderful artist.”

In addition to Joseph R. Pearson Hall, Blitt’s works, which celebrate love of life, nature, music and dance, are on display for the public at the Rita Blitt Gallery in the Mulvane Art Museum, located on the north end of the Washburn University campus. Her works are also displayed in many other local museums and private collections, including the Spencer Museum of Art, Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art and more. More information about the Rita Blitt Gallery can be found here.

The top-ranked Department of Special Education is housed in the KU School of Education. The School of Education is located in Lawrence and also is a nationally ranked school, preparing educators as leaders.    

10th among public universities for its master’s and doctoral programs
—U.S. News & World Report
#1 public program in nation for special education
—U.S. News & World Report
Assists public schools and other partners in all 105 Kansas counties
$938,377 in scholarship funds awarded to 420+ students
Research expenditures of $36,804,773 for 2011-12
Research from KU’s largest grant, the $24.5 million SWIFT project, assists educators, children, and families across the United States
The award-winning special education faculty published 140 refereed articles, 11 books, and 60 chapters in 2015-16
Students with intellectual disabilities are participating in KU undergraduate programs through a grant-funded KU special education program
Researchers on a $3.5 million grant are collecting data on an innovative reading program designed to teach reading to students with the most significant disabilities in seven Kansas school districts
One of 34 U.S. public institutions in the prestigious Association of American Universities
44 nationally ranked graduate programs.
—U.S. News & World Report
Top 50 nationwide for size of library collection.
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