Worcester State University dedicated the Mary Cosgrove Dolphin Gallery in honor of the late Worcester artist and art professor on Saturday, June 1. Noted local artist Terri Priest was among the guests present.
Dolphin taught art at Worcester State for more than 30 years, until her retirement in 1986. Many public school teachers took her classes, and through them she made an impact on students throughout the region.
Dolphin, who earned a master’s degree from Worcester State in 1957, grew up in the Main South neighborhood of Worcester and attended St. Peter Elementary School along with a tight-knit group of girls who would remain lifelong friends and fellow alumni of Worcester State. She traveled widely, studying art in San Miguel Allende, Mexico, and taking courses with Sister Corita, whose work earned international fame in the 1960s and 1970s. Dolphin lived the last years of her life in Albuquerque, New Mexico, and welcomed friends from all over the world.
Following her death in 1992, friends and family established The Mary Cosgrove Dolphin Art Award, which has been given to an upper-level Worcester State student who excels in art every year since then. Jessica Nicole Gain was awarded this honor for the Class of 2013; Gain graduated from WSU with a degree in visual and performing arts in May.
Two of Dolphin’s closest childhood friends, Elizabeth “Betty” Mahan, Ed.D., and Marilyn Miller Pula, Ed.D., together with the Worcester State Class of 1953 Reunion Committee, launched the effort to name the Gallery in Dolphin’s honor.
“Mary did so much for Worcester State art,” said Mahan, a childhood friend and member of the reunion committee. “Until she joined the faculty, art instruction at Worcester State was somewhat conventional. Mary injected a more innovative and creative approach. She appreciated individuality and brought out the best in her students.”
The event included a brunch and tours of the newly dedicated Mary Cosgrove Dolphin Gallery featuring work by Dolphin, her mother Katherine (O’Day) Cosgrove, Marsh York, Doris Rice, H.L. Kent, current WSU students Judith Haskell and Rona Balco, and WSU Visual and Performing Arts art concentrators Tessa Demers, Rachel Lubanko, John Balco, and Gain.
Video of the event:
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