Joseph Babisch: Curtain Up, Light The Lights

June 9, 2019 - September 8, 2019
A drawing of a ribbon in a circle with different peoples legs coming from the bottom with text in the middle that says 'CURTAIN UP LIGHT THE LIGHTS'

About The Art

Giffuni Gallery

Curtain Up, Light the Lights is a rendition of Broadway productions from the vision of Joseph Babisch. This selection of works features visual impressions of the American Musical Theatre along with original autographs related to the drawings. These unique versions of Broadway take a unique conceptual approach to each image which is directly inspired by a particular show. Babisch spent his life infatuated with Broadway, understandably since he was born and raised in New York. This influence played a prominent role in his life creatively and professionally. As he grew up he spent most of his time making art and attending the theatre, later to attend Buffalo State University where he studied Art Education. This led to him teaching in many ways, one of which was a TV show in Youngstown for kids and a puppeteering class at Youngstown State University. The theatre is expansive and full of liveliness, just as this exhibition of drawings by Joe Babisch shall be.



Joseph Babisch, Professor of Art Education, emeritus, and Broadway musical connoisseur, embodies a passion for the arts that is inextinguishable. Born and raised in Buffalo, New York, Babisch began attending Broadway musicals at a young age. His knowledge of Broadway abounds expectation and is sure to educate any that listen to his riveting and personal stories about the Broadway musical scene. This influence is evident in his personal artwork, but takes a unique perspective on his story telling.

Babisch has been making art his entire life, to the extent that he cannot remember being unconnected to the field. His love for the arts was always prevalent, so much so that he made it his life’s work.

Babisch went on to higher education to receive a Bachelor of Science degree in Art at Buffalo State University. After school, he moved to Youngstown, Ohio, in 1956 where he has resided ever since. He started his professional career as an Art Teacher in Niles, Ohio, where he taught first through ninth grade students. Subsequently, he earned a Master of Arts degree in printmaking and graphics at Kent State University and a Master of Arts degree in education at Westminster College.

Later, he was offered a position at Youngstown State University where he taught in both the Art Department and the Education Department. In the 1970s, he developed a television show, “All About Art,” on WFMJ, which became an adjunct to Youngstown City Schools’ art education program and also benefitted the entire community. To this day, his award-winning contribution to the region’s educational enterprise has garnered him the respect of his many students.

Babisch retired after 44 years at Youngstown State University.

With his exhibition at the Butler Institute of American Art, Joe Babisch celebrates the Broadway musicals he has long treasured as a unique form of American artistic expression.


Past Exhibitions


June 9 – July 28, 2019


The Butler Institute of American Art
524 Wick Ave
Youngstown, Ohio 44502


CATEGORIES: Exhibition

DATE: June 9, 2019 - September 8, 2019

LOCATION: Davis Gallery

RECEPTION:Meet-the-Artist: June 9, 1-3pm

Selected Works


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