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'Ollie's' legacy

Some artists leave their mark on the world largely through the strength of their work. Others do it primarily by teaching and inspiring new generations of artists. And some, like the late painter Olivia McConnell, manage to do equal shares of both.

McConnell, known to her admirers as "Ollie," lived in Lockport from 1924 to 1976, during which time she painted prolifically and provided tireless instruction to the future watercolorists and oil painters of Western New York from the garage studio attached to her home. A retrospective exhibition of McConnell's work opens Sunday in the Kenan Center (433 Locust St., Lockport), where it will remain on view through Feb. 13.

After moving to Western New York from her native Michigan in 1924, McConnell studied with prominent painters Raphael Beck, Robert Blair and Charles Burchfield. As she continued to paint, her work was shown in the Albright-Knox Art Gallery, the Buffalo Museum of Science and elsewhere locally and nationally. On Jan. 23, the Kenan Center will host a reunion of McConnell's former students and admirers (tickets for that event are $20 each).

For more information, call 433-2617 or visit www.kenancenter.org.

-- Colin Dabkowski

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