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A Memorial to Roland Wise (1923-2005) on View at the Burchfield-Penney

Work spanning the artist's career will be featured

Posted: January 11, 2006
The Burchfield-Penney Art Center is pleased to announce an exhibition celebrating the life and work of Roland Wise who passed away in December 2005. The exhibition will be on view from December 17, 2005 – February 26, 2006. A memorial service celebrating the life of Roland Wise will be held at the Burchfield-Penney on Saturday, February 11 at 1:00 p.m. All are welcome. In addition, Meg Wise, with her husband David Tennenbaum, created a Web site at which celebrates her father's career.

Roland Wise was a professor of fine arts at Buffalo State College for more than 35 years, retiring in 1992 where he taught painting and drawing, and served as department chairman during his tenure. He also served on the art faculty of the Jewish Community Center. His family includes his wife Jo, with whom he was married for 56 years, and two children, Meg and David.

A native of San Francisco, Wise served in the Army Air Force’s air transport command as a radio operator in Europe and the Pacific during and after World War II. Later, he attended schools in Brooklyn and in 1949 earned a diploma in commercial and fine arts from the Art Students League in New York and then started a commercial art studio with two friends. In 1955 he received a bachelor of fine arts degree from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg, where he started teaching at their newly established School of Art. Wise came to Buffalo in 1955 to join the faculty of Buffalo State College. In 1958 he earned a master's degree in art education from New York University.

The Burchfield-Penney Art Center presented Roland Wise: Interiors, an exhibition of paintings that primarily had been produced since retirement, from April 23 through June 12, 1994. The exhibition brochure illustrated several works and contained an essay by Robert C. Baeumler, his friend and colleague from Buffalo State College's Fine Arts Department. Bauemler wrote: "There is a phosphorus haze in these pictures, a solitude of chalk with a grain, silk over glass, air packed with quartz, marble dust and agate rolled out in isolation." His sensitive interpretation brought fresh insight to paintings "...abstract with spaces slightly illusionistic with just the right confusion, a room sensed rather than simply delineated." He was equally adept at painting still life and landscapes.

At the time of this solo exhibition, Wise had had ten one-person exhibitions in Buffalo, New York City, New England, and California. His work had been included in 36 group exhibitions across the Northeast and in Canada. He won first prize and another special award at the 1960 Western New York Exhibition at the Albright Art Gallery, and he won second prize for two paintings in 1967.

Roland Wise’s artwork is in the collections of the Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute’s Museum of Art in Utica; Central Administration for the State University of New York in Albany; Widicomb Furniture, Inc. in New York; California State College, Stanislaus, Turlock; Ball State College in Muncie, Indiana; University of Manitoba’s School of Architecture in Winnepeg; and the Burchfield-Penney Art Center, Graphic Controls Corporation, Kavinoky and Cook, M&T Bank, The Nichols School, Norstar Bancorp, and Westwood-Squibb Pharmaceutical, Inc. in Buffalo.

About the Burchfield-Penney Art Center
The Burchfield-Penney Art Center is a museum dedicated to the art and vision of Charles E. Burchfield and distinguished artists of Buffalo Niagara and Western New York State. Through its affiliation with Buffalo State College, the museum encourages learning and celebrates our richly creative and diverse community. For more information, call (716) 878-6011 or visit

The museum is open Tuesday – Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is $5 for adults, $4 for seniors and students and $3 for children and is free for students, faculty and staff of Buffalo State College and members of the Burchfield-Penney.
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