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Gloria Banning

Born: Buffalo, N.Y., U.S.

Gloria Tripi Banning was born in Buffalo, N.Y. on April 18, 1924. She graduated from St. Mary’s Seminary in Buffalo and Bennett Junior College in Millbrook, N.Y. Banning founded Holloway Bay Playhouse in Fort Erie, Ontario in 1948, where she directed and produced summer stock productions. She married Derrick Banning in 1952; around this time she began teaching drama at Buffalo Seminary. In the early 1960s, her interest in theatrical set design led her to painting, and she gathered with a small group, led by Evelyn R. Lord, behind the Seymour Knox family’s main house to paint weekly. During the 1970s, in her home studio, she turned to larger scale work using a brighter palate and bolder brushstrokes.

Banning was well known for her contemporary impressionistic landscapes, mainly in oil or acrylic, and some in watercolor. She reflected strong emotions and created moods through her exuberant combinations of color and shape. Influenced by abstract expressionists William de Kooning, Franz Kline, and Jackson Pollack, she studied with artists including Virginia Tillou, Harriet Grief, Walter Prochownik, Virginia Cuthbert, and Martha Visser't Hooft.

Throughout the 1970s and 80s, the Albright Knox Art Gallery displayed many of her works,as did various galleries across Western New York including Christ the King Seminary and More-Rubin Gallery. In June-July 1986, the Burchfield Art Center featured Banning in the exhibiition Sun-Slits. At the time of her death on September 28, 2007, Banning was the subject of a career retrospective at the Burchfield-Penney Art Center.