Dorothy Gillespie’s son rediscovers her decades-long art career

Dorothy Gillespie’s son rediscovers her decades-long art career

By Mike Allen mike.allen@roanoke.com     Posted: Sunday, May 29, 2016 12:00 am

ORLANDO, Fla. — Gary Israel drove up the parking garage ramp, a six-story spiral that encircles his mother’s tallest sculpture.The late Dorothy Gillespie’s “Celestial Joy” consists of 720 painted aluminum starbursts hung on 36 support cables that rise to the building’s full height. Over the years, a passion flower vine has grown among the starbursts and bloomed.
In 1998, the Roanoke-born Gillespie oversaw the construction of “Encircled Path to the Enchanted Castle,” a colorful 63-foot-tall column of aluminum panels that stood in the same spot. Hurricane Charlie destroyed the sculpture. In 2006, at age 86, Gillespie took the remains of the original and created “Celestial Joy.”

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