The late Dennis Dutzi, a CSULB alumnus famed for his colorful and pop art-inspired portraits, was recognized in September by the Art Department, which officially designated one of its five student galleries as the “Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery” in recognition of his passion for art and his professional success.
Made possible through the generosity of friends, patrons and supporters, the Dutzi Gallery was officially opened in a special ceremony with many of those supporters on hand.
“Through his work, Dennis touched the lives of students, faculty, alumni, Congressional representatives and fans everywhere,” said President F. King Alexander. “The Dutzi Gallery will enable his influence to continue inspiring talent of all ages on our campus.”
Two guests at the ceremony were two subjects of Dutzi’s portraits – Congresswomen Linda and Loretta Sanchez. Linda Sanchez is serving her second term in the U.S. House of Representatives for the 39th Congressional District of California. Loretta Sanchez, who began her congressional career in 1996, represents California’s 47th Congressional District and is serving her fifth term in the House of Representatives.
“When I first met Dennis, it was clear that he had so much passion for what he was doing, day in and day out. It is the rare and lucky person whose talents match their passion,” said Linda Sanchez. “I’m glad that CSULB now has a permanent piece of Dennis here on campus. I hope that the students who come through here will have the same passion for their life.”
After moving to the West Coast from New York, Dutzi embraced the upbeat lifestyle and sun-drenched aesthetic of Southern California. His paintings include commissioned portraits, explorations into popular culture and realistic, highly stylized urban California landscapes.
A member of CSULB’s class of 1992, Dutzi graduated from the university with a bachelor of fine arts degree in drawing and painting. He passed away in 2005.
The Dennis W. Dutzi Gallery joins the Merlino, Gatov and Werby galleries, each of which have been named in honor of a former artist, teacher or patron whose life celebrated the necessity and joy of making art. These galleries showcase the work of CSULB art majors throughout the academic year.