Jerry Leon Burrell was a brilliant artist and sculptor who had a significant impact on Schenectady during his lifetime. While he was Community Arts Coordinator at the Arts Center, he sought out and gained exposure for a number of African-American artists through his "Artist of the Month Program." He was also responsible for introducing many African-American artists to the community. He organized shows and exhibitions, and arranged arts festivals and demonstratons. As an arts representative, he was active with various organizations in Schenectady.
In 1978, at the young age of 36, Jerry Burrell succumbed to a ruptured appendix, leaving behind a rich legacy of commitment to and love of children through art.
Burrell's death was tragic and unnecessary. He went to the emergency room on three occasions, complaining of stomach pain. Each time, he was sent home without being examined. As a young Black man without health insurance, he was not given the attention he so desperately needed. When he was finally admitted, his appendix had burst and peritonitis had set in.
Sympathy and outrage from the community resulted in a neighborhood park being named to honor him. The Jerry Burrell Park is located on the corner of Schenectady Street and Hamilton Street in the Hamilton Hill neighborhood of Schenectady (New York). The Jerry Burrell Gallery at the Hamilton Hill Arts Center has a portrait of Mr. Burrell on display near the entrance. Several of Mr. Burrell's art pieces can also be seen at the Hamilton Hill Arts Center.
The Jerry Burrell Gallery showcases exhibitions which feature the works of African-American and minority artists. Exhibited works are on display for viewers and available for collectors as well. Films, forums and seminars are also presented in the Gallery. The Jerry Burrell Gallery is also available to community groups for programs, meetings and special presentations related to arts and educational programs.
Hamilton Hill Arts Center
409 Schenectady Street
Schenectady, NY 12307
Tel: 518.346.1262 / Fax: 518.346.2625
© 2015 Hamilton Hill Arts Center. All Rights Reserved.