Yo Bruce: Gerald Donato + Bruce Wilhelm

September 6 – October 20, 2018

Opening Reception: Thursday, September 6, 6:00 - 8:00 p.m.

Artist Talk: Saturday, October 6, 11:00 a.m. 


In 1978, a group of up-and-coming artists hatched a plan to create an artist-run gallery. In September of that year, they opened the doors of 1708 Gallery.  40 years later, 1708 remains Richmond’s steadfast space for contemporary art and continues to be a catalyst for exploration - for artists, art supporters and the culturally curious. 

This anniversary year recognizes this legacy and celebrates the spirited community that has joined us on this 4-decade long adventure and that inspires us today.  Across this year, the celebration will weave its way through our exhibitions and programs and will launch visionary plans, propelling us towards another 40 years.

We open this significant season with Yo Bruce: Gerald Donato and Bruce Wilhelm. Curated by Bruce Wilhelm, Yo Bruce features drawings, sketches, and works on paper by Gerald Donato, one of 1708’s founding artists. This exhibition glimpses the irreverence, humor and pathos, as well as the iconography, for which Donato was known. The roguish characteristics present in these works are reminiscent of the defiant spirit that inspired these artists to form 1708 Gallery.  

Also featuring works by Wilhelm, one of Donato’s cherished students, Yo Bruce also celebrates the relationships between teacher and student and highlights the significant role that arts educators and mentors have played across 1708’s history.

Gerald Donato was among the core founding teachers of VCUarts, where he taught for 38 years in the Painting and Printmaking Department. He received fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts and the VMFA and exhibited nationally and internationally.   

Bruce Wilhelm received his BFA from VCU and his MFA from Rhode Island School of Design. He has been featured in New American Paintings and has received two VMFA fellowships. 

1708 Founding Artists: Dan Brisbane, Richard Carlyon, Tom Chenoweth, John Crabbs, Tom DeSchmidt, Gerald Donato, Jean Edwards, Bill Hall, Heather Holden, Davi Det Hompson, Sharon Lawless, James Miller, Harold North, Joe Seipel, Chris Sillman, Brett Wilson, and Morris Yarowski.

Special thanks to: Ada Gallery, Joan Gaustad, Reynolds Gallery, Christine and Howard Risatti, and Susan and Richard Roth. 


Gerald Donato is represented by Reynolds Gallery 

Bruce Wilhelm is represented by Ada Gallery 

Bruce Wilhelm on LookSee