Special Event in Honor of Leona Darr Willis

Special Event in Honor of Leona Darr Willis

Please note this event originally scheduled for Wednesday, March 25th, 2020 has been postponed as part of the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts public closure due to the Covid-19 health crisis. This event is anticipated to be rescheduled in 2021. Event details will be announced as they become available.

Remembering Our Friend Stephen Gyermek (1930 – 2016)

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Stephen (Istvan/Pista) Agoston Gyermek (Nov. 9, 1930 – Oct. 26, 2016) was a fourth generation artist from Hungary who lived and worked across four countries including Holland, Spain and the United States of America.  He was true Master Artist producing significant bodies of work in design, drawing, painting, printmaking and stained glass.  In addition he was a celebrated Art Historian, Museum Director and Professor. For nearly 50 years Stephen was a prominent and esteemed member of the educational and creative communities of San Joaquin County.  In 2011, the Grand Theatre Center for the Arts premiered Kunstlerleben – From Budapest to the Valley – Stephen Gyermek Retrospective (June 25th through July 23rd, 2011).

The exhibition featured works from Stephen’s life from age 10 to the present, and was met with celebration and acclaim attracting visitors from across America. To have known Stephen was a great gift… he could charm you with a vast understanding of world history, speaking across seven languages, while making you contemplate and laugh at the same time!The Record’s Michael Fitzgerald has written a story in Stephen’s honor.  Please consider commenting or writing a letter to the Editor voicing your support for The Record’s important coverage of issues related to our creative community.Jim Lewis, Bruce Duke & Stephen Gyermek are pictured at San Joaquin Delta College, circa 1990s. – Photo courtesy of Karen Olson, all rights reserved.

Remembering Our Friend Rowland Cheney (1943 – 2015)

STATUE AT ROUNDABOUT3 (12-06-13)  Rowland Cheney runs electrical wiring through his ÒHarvest of ProgressÓ statue before it is raised over a platform at the center of the Sixth Street-Central Avenue roundabout late Dec. 5.  Glenn Moore/Tracy Press

Rowland Cheney  (Clements, CA) was a  prolific member of our creative community. He and his fiance,  Mary Doucette of Lodi, were among the nine people lost in a plane crash near Ketchikan, Alaska in June of 2015.

Mr. Cheney was a celebrated Emeritus Professor of Drawing, Painting and Sculpture at San Joaquin Delta College, professional artist and an important member of the Kiger Mustang community.  The Tracy community worked with Rowland for three years to create the largest work of his career, the monumental 20′ landmark sculpture Harvest of Progress, at Central Avenue and 6th Street in downtown.

The photo (courtesy of the Tracy Press/Glenn Moore) to the left shows the artist hard at work on the cold night of December 5th, 2013, when Harvest of Progress was installed.