Eugene Rosa’s art collection spans the globe.Pieces from David Giese, Marilyn Lysohir and Christopher Watts stem from the Moscow-Pullman region, while the art he collected from Tacoma’s Dale Chihuly and Germany’s Max Ernst reach internationally.
At one time, you could find all these pieces in his East C Street home in Moscow, where he built an art tower.
“His whole house was like this art gallery,” said Amy Mazur, who many years ago lived with Rosa for more than a decade at his C Street residence.”It was his baby.”
But since the Washington State University professor’s passing in March, his pieces remained with his wife, Julie, and spread out among friends, family and collectors. Now, some pieces are on display through December at The Bank Left Gallery in Palouse.
“He was very dedicated to supporting local Moscow artists,” Mazur said. “All of his friends were artists. He bought local art from people … He was a world traveler and he would buy art when he traveled.”
Beyond collecting, Rosa was an artist himself.
“He loved art, ate art, breathed art,” Mazur said.
A fan of surrealism, Mazur said Rosa based much of his art on the readymades of Marcel Duchamp. Rosa would take ordinary objects and modify them, forming a minimalist piece.
“His own work was about environmentalism,” Mazur said. “The idea of his work was you go out and take things that are already used and put it in an art piece. It was the ultimate recycling.”
He enjoyed creating shadow boxes from his findings, as well.
“He was equally passionate about doing his art, but also collecting art,” Mazur said.
Nelson Duran saw that passion when he met Rosa eight years ago.
“I knew he was an art collector, but I didn’t know how serious he was,” said The Bank Left Gallery director, who hadn’t seen the collection until after Rosa’s death.
The November gallery opening for Rosa’s exhibit drew a crowd, and Duran said he wished he had done a show with Rosa when he was alive.
“He supported so many people in this area. So many people came” to the opening, he said. “It was unbelievable how loved he was.”
Rosa’s collection, and some of his original artwork, can be seen through the end of December at The Bank Left Gallery in Palouse.
Treffry can be contacted at (208) 883-4640 or email@example.com. Follow her on Twitter @LindseyTreffry.
-> if you go:
WHAT: Eugene Rosa exhibit
WHEN: Now through December. Gallery hours are 11 a.m.- 5 p.m. Thursday through Saturday.
WHERE: The Bank Left Gallery, 100 S. Bridge St., Palouse