UofL presents exhibition celebrating drawing and teaching of James Grubola


    LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Hite Art Institute presents a two-part exhibition celebrating the work of its longtime, distinguished drawing professor James Grubola.

    From Jan. 19-Feb. 24, the Cressman Center for Visual Arts will display drawings by Grubola that emerged from his return to a 43-year old practice of drawing weekly.

    “When my 17-year tenure as chair ended in 2010, along with its administrative burdens, I was able to return to my first two loves: drawing human figures and teaching full time,” he said.

    He began hiring a model for his drawings in the Hite studios on Fridays, hence the exhibition title “The Friday Sessions.”

    Grubola also spent decades drawing moving bodies and recently returned to drawing dancers at the Louisville Ballet’s Thursday rehearsals. These sessions formed his second new body of work, “The Thursday Sessions,” also on display at the Cressman.

    In celebration of Grubola’s significant impact as a teacher, the Hite Art Institute will also host an exhibition of work by Grubola’s many former students. “Selections from the teachings of James Grubola” will run Jan. 8-Feb. 9 in Schneider Hall Galleries.

    Grubola has served as head of Hite’s drawing program since 1975. In his tenure, he oversaw many departmental changes including the creation of the Mary Spencer Nay Scholarship Endowment and the addition of a glass program along with the construction of the Cressman Center for Visual Arts — the university’s first, permanent, non-medical facility in downtown Louisville. Grubola was the 2008 recipient of the Trustee’s Award, one of the university’s highest faculty awards. Grubola has also maintained an active exhibition record, with work in invitational and traveling exhibitions and permanent collections.  

    For more information, contact Gallery Director Chris Reitz at chris.reitz@louisville.edu.


    Niki King
    Niki King Jones is positive she has the best job at the University of Louisville, serving the communication needs of the departments of fine arts and theatre, the School of Music, University Libraries and Alumni – all the fun, creative stuff. Before coming to UofL in 2015, Niki held communication positions in both private and nonprofit sectors in Louisville, Ky., including at Heaven Hill Distilleries and the Jewish Community of Louisville. For 10 years prior, she was a reporter at various newspapers across the country, most recently The Courier-Journal. Niki graduated from the University of Memphis with a BA in journalism and has a masters degree in community and leadership development from the University of Kentucky.