York to the Power of 50: Donated painting finds a new home

When Professor Frank Marchese of the Department of Psychology in York’s Faculty of Health bought a beautiful, abstract painting by Moscow-born Montreal artist Leopold Plotek, he tried in vain to find a place for it in his home. Marchese then realized that the perfect home for the striking work was York University and donated it to the York University Foundation.

Marchese’s donation supports York to the Power of 50, the largest fundraising campaign in York’s history.

Left: Marchese with the painting he donated to the York University Foundation

The eight-foot by six-foot, untitled, oil-on-canvas painting created in 1978 now hangs on a wall in York’s Technology Enhanced Learning (TEL) Building. Marchese feels the buildings of the University permit a greater appreciation of the work "because you can actually stand back from it and view it from various angles; the space offers perspectives that aren’t possible in the average home."

"I’ve been at the University for 30 years and I’ve enjoyed my experience here. Over that period, I’ve developed an increasing interest in art," says Marchese. His initial interest was in classical European art. It developed and expanded to include the whole modern movement – cubism, Dadaism, surrealism. As he spent more time in art museums and more time at York, Marchese "realized that it’s important for an institution of this nature, an educational institution, to try to display as much art as possible." He encourages members of the York community to avail themselves of the art that exists here and recommends everyone visit the Art Gallery of York University in the Accolade East Building.

"Over the years, York University faculty and staff have contributed to the growth and calibre of the University’s art collection," says Allyson Adley of the Art Gallery of York University. "By donating works of art, members of the University community have played an important role in strengthening and enhancing York’s holdings of historical and contemporary Canadian art, making it one of the leading university collections in the country."

In addition to artwork, the University welcomes other types of gift-in-kind donations such as securities, equipment, book collections and archival materials if acquisition of the property is consistent with the University’s mandate.

For more information on donations to York University Libraries of print materials, recordings and films, contact Bernardine Perreira, chief development officer, libraries and gift planning, at 416-650-8210 or e-mail perreir@yorkfoundation.yorku.ca.

For more information on donations of artwork, contact Irena Korol, chief development officer, Faculty of Fine Arts, at 416-650-8210 or koroli@yorkfoundation.yorku.ca.

Submitted to YFile by David Wallace, communications officer, York University Foundation.