Dennis Campay paints in his studio in Jacksonville, Fla. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Art.​ ​Art​ ​everywhere.​ Drink​ ​it​ ​in.

One of the Southeast’s best-kept secrets, Brenau University’s Permanent Collection includes more than 6,500 artworks from artists including Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Rauschenberg, James Rosenquist and Jasper Johns, to name a few. The three galleries on the Gainesville historic campus – Sellars Gallery, Castelli Gallery and Presidents Gallery – host exhibitions that change each semester and may feature works from Brenau’s collection, students, faculty, local artists and nationally and internationally known artists and groups.

In recent years, the Manhattan Gallery was established in the Brenau Downtown Center, which features a perennial display of Permanent Collection works. Brenau’s five campuses also serve as exhibition spaces that make the university’s collection accessible to students, faculty and the greater community. “We did not build a permanent collection of great art as an investment for the sake of collecting,” says Brenau University President Ed Schrader. “We built it to share with the world as much as we can.”

Dennis Campay, "Alpha and Omega", 2010, mixed media on canvas
Dennis Campay, Alpha and Omega, 2010, mixed media on canvas.

Alpha and Omega, 2010, mixed media on canvas, by Dennis Campay, is featured in the lobby of the Brenau Downtown Center and is among 24 Campay pieces Brenau owns in its collection or has on loan from the artist. Campay was appointed University Master Artist by Schrader in 2015. With vivid descriptions fit for the finest of wines, Campay’s paintings combine cosmopolitan cityscapes with an ethos that is at once rustic and sophisticated, conveying an international urbanity. His kaleidoscopic scenes present a mesmerizing mix of columns, porticos, slatted shutters and balconies, gently coexisting with marshes, whitewashed churches, boats and bridges. Silvery bodies of water, worn books, the solitary piano and ubiquitous chairs take their place where interiors and exteriors blend and beckon, evoking memories, illusions and dreams. Who wouldn’t love to have a glass of that?

To learn more about Campay and his art, check out The Storyteller from Fall 2015 Brenau Window.

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