Skip to Top NavigationSkip to Utility NavigationSkip to SearchSkip to Left NavigationSkip to Content
Mobile Menu
Bookmark and Share

Bruce Gillespie, an Artist with Down Syndrome, Coming to University of Hartford for Program on Special Education and Art on September 6

Posted 08/30/2018
Posted by Mary Ingarra

Artwork by Bruce Gillespie

Artwork by Bruce Gillespie

The University of Hartford is devoting an entire day to the topic of special education and art on Thursday, Sept. 6. Bruce Gillespie, a Connecticut artist with Down syndrome, will be on campus along with his mentor, retired special education teacher Samuel Goldenberg. The series of events includes the opportunity to see Gillespie create new work, watch a video about special education and art, view an exhibition of Gillespie’s work, and attend a panel discussion on the important role art plays in special education. 


12:30 p.m.

Meet the artist Bruce Gillespie and see him create artwork on site. This will be followed by a showing of Divine Musings: The Art of Bruce Gillespie, a special education and art video Samuel Goldenberg will then lead a discussion on the arts and special education.
Location: Shaw Center, Hillyer Hall, University of Hartford

2-5:30 p.m. 

View an exhibition of Gillespie’s work, Ten Commandments.      

Location: Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, Harry Jack Gray Center

 7:30 p.m.

Special Education and Art panel discussion moderated by Samuel Goldenberg,  

Panelists:  Tim Fiorentino, whose son Dan is an artist with Down syndrome, and UHart Associate Professor of Special Education Sheetal Sood.
Location: Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies, Harry Jack Gray Center

 The events are sponsored by the University of Hartford’s Maurice Greenberg Center for Judaic Studies in the College of Arts and Sciences, the College of Education, Nursing and Health Professions, Hillyer College, and the National Down Syndrome Society.

Artist Bruce Gillespie has Down syndrome. He and Samuel Goldenberg’s paths intersected at the Danbury Regional Center in the 1970’s when Goldenberg noticed Gillespie’s artistic ability, and used his art for promotional posters of music events that raised money for special education. Gillespie’s work often touched upon biblical subjects, and in 1976, Gillespie and Goldenberg began a collaboration to illustrate a children’s Bible. Gillespie’s work, “The Creation,” was first shown in exhibition at the Knights of Columbus Museum in New Haven, Conn. Now in his 60s, Gillespie continues to draw and paint at a day program in Danbury and participates in the Special Olympics.


Artwork by Bruce Gillespie

Artwork by Bruce Gillespie