Notre Dame College Presents Gallery Exhibit of Artist's Lifelong Love of Sailing, Nature

Notre Dame College’s Clara Fritzsche Library will host “Ira Firstencel…sailing down the stream of life,” a retrospective exhibition of the late artist’s paintings.

The exhibit is free and open to the public and will run through March 31.

Firstencel’s lifelong love of sailing, nature and gardening are reflected in the works on display; the exhibit is being curated by the artist’s daughter, April Firstencel, who lives in the Cleveland area.

Ira Firstencel was born in New York City and lived in the state of New York all of his life. He attended Cooper Union Art School and New York University where he was an art major.

His talent as an artist manifested itself in a number of ways. From 1958 to 1986, Firstencel worked for General Electric in Syracuse and then in Schenectady, N.Y., in various capacities from illustration, graphic and industrial design, advertising and sales promotion, engineering concepts, display and exhibit design, to architectural and interior design.

While in Syracuse, he was the stage designer for Syracuse Musical Drama Company and Cazenovia Players. He also created costumes for the elephants in the Ringling Brothers Circus to look like trains as they walked down the streets of New York City.

Additionally, while serving in the U.S. Army, Firstencel worked as a camouflage technician.

During his lifetime, Firstencel exhibited in New York State, most notably in the New York State Art Exposition and at the Everson Museum in Syracuse, New York. He also won First Prize in the General Electric Art Exhibit in 1963.

A devoted family man, Firstencel had a lifelong quest for scientific knowledge. An amateur astronomer who read scientific journals, he enjoyed seeing how thing worked. In retirement he put this scientific curiosity to use, restoring clocks, musical instruments, furniture and other items that needed repairing, often selling them at outdoor antique shows.

The exhibit may be viewed during library hours: Monday-Thursday 8 a.m. to 10 p.m.; Friday 8 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.; Sunday 1-10 p.m. For further information, contact Karen Zoller at 216-373-5267 or



For almost a century, Notre Dame College has educated a diverse population in the liberal arts for personal, professional and global responsibility. Founded by the Sisters of Notre Dame in 1922, the College has grown strategically to keep pace with the rapidly changing needs of students and the dramatic changes in higher education. But it has never lost sight of its emphasis on teaching students not only how to make a good living but also how to live a good life.

Today, the College offers bachelor’s degrees in 30 disciplines plus a variety of master’s degrees, certification programs and continuing and professional development programs for adult learners on campus and online. Notre Dame College offers 22 NCAA Division II intercollegiate athletic programs for men and women and is located in a picturesque residential neighborhood just 25 minutes from the heart of Cleveland. Highlights of the Notre Dame experience include stimulating academics, personalized attention of dedicated faculty and staff and small class sizes.

E.g., 06/25/19
E.g., 06/25/19