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Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries

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Gordon Art Galleries Sesow Exhibit

Free and open to the public, with parking in the 45th Street garage, Tuesday - Saturday, 11 a.m. - 4 p.m.


Recently On View

Jan. 21 - May 7, 2022

Art from Guantánamo Bay

RESCHEDULED Opening Reception Jan. 27, 6 - 8 p.m.

Detainees at the United States military prison camp known as Guantánamo Bay have made art from the time they arrived. The Art from Guantánamo Bay exhibition features 101 of these evocative works, made by men held without trial, some for more than 15 years. The six artists include both current (Moath Al Alwi and Ahmed Rabbani) and former (Muhammad Ansi, Abdualmalik (Alrahabi) Abud, Sabri Al Qurashi, Mansoor Adayfi) detainees, none of whom have been charged with committing a crime.

Most pieces in the exhibition were taken from Guantánamo by the detainees' attorneys for this showing and following a laborious process of searching, scanning, and analysis for hidden messages by Guantánamo officials. A stamp reading "Approved by US Forces" signals that a work has been cleared, and the stamp's ink often bleeds through to the image on the other side, creating a ghostly mix of art and authority.

Art from Guantánamo Bay includes drawings and paintings as well as sculptures crafted with the few materials permitted to detainees, including model ships made from shirt scraps, prayer caps, razors, and mops. As former detainee Mansoor Adayfi explains in his New York Times essay "In Our Prison on the Sea," the sea "means freedom that no one can control or own, freedom for everyone." Although detainees were held close to the sea, tarps blocked their view until they were removed for four days in 2014 in anticipation of a hurricane; after that, Adayfi recalls, "all of those who could draw made drawings about the sea."

Follow @oduarts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for forthcoming public programming.


Apr. 28 - May 7, 2022

Best If Used By

Opening Reception Apr. 28, 6 - 8 p.m.

The Baron and Ellin Gordon Galleries present Best If Used By, an exhibition of works by the Spring 2022 graduating class of Bachelor of Fine Arts majors at Old Dominion University.

A work of art can last forever, yet every exhibition has an expiration date. As our time at ODU comes to an end, we are conscious of time passing, and can sometimes feel like items on a shelf. An expiration date is a reminder of our finiteness. Our wide variety of media, including paintings, photographs, drawings, and screen/ relief prints explores themes of nostalgia, personal development, and the experience of life itself. As we begin a new chapter, we encourage viewers to celebrate this transition.

Participating artists are:

  • Mylahn Parsons
  • Eric Smith
  • Roger Evans
  • Grace McCrery
  • Holly Castle
  • Emily Vassar
  • Cheryl Cushing-Oman
  • Gabby Barnett
  • Shemeka Daniels
  • Akira Barnes
  • Dominick Bellamy
  • Jada Wilson

Follow @bestifusedby22 on Instagram for information on upcoming virtual events.


Gordon the Robot

Affectionately nicknamed "Gordon" after the art galleries' namesakes—Baron and Ellin Gordon—this innovative telepresence robot allows remote visits from around the world.

Gordon can move around the space, raise and lower height, and zoom in on art. The remote driver can interact live with staff in the galleries and also invite friends, colleagues, and students to join their visit.

Reservations return in Fall 2023!

Follow @oduarts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram for updates.

Proceeds support arts programming and educational opportunities at ODU.

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Fall 2021 Exhibitions


Aug. 31 - Dec. 18, 2021

Life and Limb: Works by Matt Sesow

Matt Sesow produces an uncommon and somewhat obsessive number of paintings from Washington, DC. After the propeller of an incoming aircraft severed his left arm at age eight, Matt survived amputation and discovered painting as an emotional response to a traumatic past. Today his works are collected worldwide.

The exhibition features paintings spanning Matt's entire career, which began in 1994. On view are collections of 11 lenders, 168 works by Matt with additional contextual objects, 225 wall drawings and paintings (so far), 13 works by Jean-Michel Basquiat, 5.6 hours of music that Matt paints to, and an interactive MagicBox featuring three of Matt's booklets and a time-lapse video of his process. Works inspired by his friendship with Baron and Ellin Gordon, world travels and residencies, and visits to Norfolk are included.

This is first in a series of solo exhibitions featuring artists represented in the permanent collection of the Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries.


Dec. 3 - 18, 2021

OTW/IRL, The Fall 2021 Senior Exhibition

The Baron and Ellin Gordon Galleries present OTW/IRL, an exhibition of works by the Fall 2021 graduating class of Bachelor of Fine Arts majors in studio art at Old Dominion University.

OTW/IRL is an exhibition that embraces the fact that many people are unplugging from a world of remote connection and returning to interaction in real life. The artists intend to help the viewer detach from virtual life and come back to the experience of reality. Through the art and the way it is installed, the exhibit will highlight the tangibility and actuality of the gallery experience. At the same time, each artist will express their individual voices in media, subject, and process.

Participating artists include: Amanda Beach, Megan Berg, Ty Jones, Korrine Maher, Nicole Marlowe, Maia Micou, Kevin Miller, Adrian Speller


Recent Program



Gain insight from juror Carl Floyd Medley III (carlmedley.com) and students of the 2021 Juried Student Exhibition in this in-depth look at the show! Congratulations to students Lyn Dowling ('21), Andre Jacobs ('21), and Korrine Maher ('21) whose artwork has been selected by the ODU President and First Lady from the Juried Student Exhibition for display in the Jacobson House presidential residence for the 2021-2022 academic year!


About the Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries

The Baron and Ellin Gordon Art Galleries exhibit works by nationally and internationally recognized self-taught artists, contemporary artists working in all media, and local and regional artists connected with Old Dominion University.