Dot Show Honors Deceased Professor Of Art Bernie Peace

WEST LIBERTY — A fitting tribute to West Liberty University Professor Emeritus and well-known artist Bernie Peace, who died in January, is on display through Thursday in the Nutting Gallery on the campus.

“The theme of “The Dot Show” takes its inspiration from Peace’s extensive series of large paintings featuring patterns of colorful dots,” explained Bob Villamagna, who is the director of the Nutting Gallery.

Peace was born in 1933 in Williamsburg, Kentucky, and graduated from Berea College with a bachelor of arts degree in art in 1954. He went on to earn a master’s in fine arts from Indiana University. He cited Henri Matisse and Jackson Pollack as his major influences.

He taught at West Liberty State College from 1960 to 1995 as an art professor and was chair for many years, earning the title emeritus after taking an early retirement.

Over his long and successful career, he participated in more than 300 art exhibitions. His final exhibition, a retrospective of his work, was presented at the Wheeling Artisan Center in 2018.

“Instead of putting together an exhibition with just his work, we wanted to show how Bernie Peace inspired other artists, hence I made a callout in February asking people to submit art work based on dots. That is why this exhibition displays some of his pieces but also pieces from former students, current faculty members, friends of Peace and artists in the community,” Villamagna said.

“It is so wonderful to see how people that didn’t even know him, found inspiration in his art. Bernie Peace would have loved it.”

Several of his works are currently on display across campus including in the Fine Arts Building and the Elbin Library.

All exhibitions at the Nutting Art Gallery are free and open to the public. Hours are fro 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. weekdays, evenings and weekends by arrangement only.

For additional information, please contact Villamagna at


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