Steel Sculptures Grace Greensburg Art Center
Stewardson, Michele, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
For Rita Reese, the new home for her two outdoor sculptures is exactly as it should be.
The 8-foot-tall welded steel sculptures are permanently displayed in the outdoor sculpture garden at the Greensburg Art Center and Rowe Gallery in Hempfield, which recently honored Reese.
The sculptures were designed by the late Josefa Filkosky, an artist and Seton Hill College professor who died of a brain tumor in 1999. She was born Patricia Filkosky in 1933 in Westmoreland City, but changed her name when she became a Sister of Charity in 1956.
Filkosky's work is represented in private and corporate collections throughout the Northeast.
Filkosky, who taught at Seton Hill for 44 years, loved bright colors and was known for her use of red, orange and yellow on painted steel figures.
Her "Pipe Dream IV," created for the 1970 Three Rivers Arts Festival, graces the median strip between Gateway Three and Gateway Four in Pittsburgh. Filkosky's last piece, "Soaring From in Reds," can be viewed at the Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park in Hamilton, Ohio.
Reese bought her pieces from Filkosky. Reese's late husband, John Reese, was chairman of the board and the couple had a fondness for Seton Hill, which is now a university.
"I admired the school and everything it stood for," said Reese, a resident of Greensburg. "I admired her sculptures that were suitable for the outdoors. Most of her works are uplifting and of a spiritual nature. I have two because I couldn't choose. I liked them both."
Filkosky and Reese examined the property around Reese's former home at the time to find the perfect place for the sculptures and they did. One was easily visible from the road.
"After I knew I had to sell because the house became a burden, I thought about the sculptures," said Reese. "Not everyone shared our admiration for the spiritual and uplifting aspects of Josefa's work. For my husband and I, it satisfied the need for beauty and blended in with the atmosphere where it was located."
Reese hoped to find the sculptures a home where it would fill the same need. She spoke to Sue Pollins about the Greensburg Art Center's outdoor sculpture garden.
Now the general public, as well as those driving by on Route 30, are enjoying the pieces that mean so much to Reese. …