On-Line Edition Thursday, September 21, 2017 Vol. 59 No. 38
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Peanut Days - A time to give
Kiwanis Club of Lombard members will be stationed all around Lombard today through Saturday, Sept. 23, distributing peanuts and accepting donations during their 26th annual Kiwanis Peanut Days fundraiser. Club members—including fundraiser chairman Annetta Spychalski, President Bob Brunton, and Incoming President Carol Webber (pictured left to right)—are asking for your support to help the club’s efforts to serve the children of Lombard and around the world. Look for club members and volunteers at Schroeder’s Ace Hardware on Westmore/Meyers Road, Jewel-Osco at Roosevelt and Main, and street corners throughout the village. For more information, see Lombard News. Photo by Steve Spoden
***** Out & About by Jane Charmelo *****
'Local boys' the focus of new PAC art exhibit
The Park Art Center (PAC) in Villa Park is busy preparing for a new exhibit to open this week, called "Local Boys Done Good," and yes, these are definitely local boys. Tony Fitzpatrick and Kirk Kerndl are both Lombard natives, and in fact, according to Kerndl, "[We] grew up a couple of blocks from each other [but] didn't know each other." He went to Glenbard East and Fitzpatrick went to Montini Catholic. Although both are artists, their paths didn't really cross until Fitzpatrick agreed to submit some of his work for a new exhibit at the Villa Park gallery, and requested that Kerndl join him, according to PAC co-founder Paulina Jimenez, who said, "I have to give credit to Tony" for helping to get the exhibit moving. She recalled him saying he wanted to partner with someone and when asked who he had in mind, Fitzpatrick mentioned Kerndl – and within a few weeks the exhibit was getting organized. "We were very familiar with Kirk," Jimenez noted. "Normally," she continued, "it would take months to plan," but the gallery and artists pulled it off during the last few weeks of August, and now, "we're in high gear." "Local Boys" will feature some of Fitzpatrick's earlier work, Jimenez outlined, including pieces "that have never been seen before." Fitzpatrick's exhibit is called "Autumn Etchings"; artwork completed in 2001 and 2002, which he noted had to do with "finding what was good in the world" after the events of 9/11. He shared that he spent some time in Montana in what could be described as a time of reflection, surrounded by nature. "I wanted to find the magic and the mystery of it," he added. Fitzpatrick's other works have been on exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, and he has close to 200 prints at the Art Institute of Chicago. According to a PAC press release, Fitzpatrick's work has inspirational roots in Chicago's street culture, children's books, childhood encounters with Catholicism, superheroes, circus posters, field guides, politics, folk art and tattoo designs. While his earlier works focused mostly in printmaking, his later works have included large-scale mixed media drawings, paintings and collages, according to the release. Fitzpatrick can also include radio show host, writer and actor on his résumé. Some of Kerndl's pieces remind one of Midwestern tranquility, which the artist himself said evokes peace and solitude "that I sometimes struggle to find in everyday suburban life." He recalled with a chuckle his days at Glenbard East when a counselor asked him, "Why are you taking all these art classes?" Kerndl went on to earn a B.S. degree in Finance and Economics from Elmhurst College, and minored in art. His work has been exhibited at One Fine Art Gallery in Geneva, Hinsdale Gallery in Hinsdale and at the Schoenherr Gallery of North Central College in Naperville. He also has received awards from the Naperville Art League and DuPage Art League. "For me it was a great opportunity," he said of the co-exhibit with Fitzpatrick, relating that while they didn't know each other, he had come close to meeting his fellow artist once when Fitzpatrick had an art gallery in Villa Park. Kerndl recounted how he stopped in, but Fitzpatrick wasn't there. Fitzpatrick, though, did recall that "we knew a lot of the same guys." Now that they are connected through the "Local Boys" exhibit, Kerndl has gotten to know someone he believes gave him a chance to be linked with a well-known artist. "I probably never met a nicer person," Kerndl continued, adding that Fitzpatrick told him, "'Man, this is your time.'" "He reached out to me," he continued, adding that he feels fortunate "... to be able to do [this] with him." Fitzpatrick had his own praise for Kerndl, saying he bought some of Kerndl's work, because his landscapes "touched me in a really visceral way." "You would not think there was as much of a commonality there," he said of the two artists' styles — which appear very different on the surface. But both of them, Fitzpatrick continued, touch on nature, just from a different perspective. "I love nature and I can't get enough of it," Kerndl commented, lamenting the loss of farmlands he remembers from his youth — and depicts on canvas, frozen in time. "We're looking forward to this," Jimenez commented, adding that she believes local art centers are a way to support local artists. While Kerndl still lives in his hometown, Fitzpatrick has moved around the country and came back to Chicago. He shared that it is "bittersweet being back" in the area. Kerndl believes the exhibit offers him an opportunity to "pursue more avenues for my art," adding, "Here I am, a 58-year-old and all I want to do is paint." He hopes that through local galleries such as PAC, "more people get interested in art. You can move the world with art." "I think they're doing the community an amazing service," Fitzpatrick said of the PAC, because "culture is important." Fitzpatrick offered more praise for his fellow artist, calling Kerndl "phenomenally gifted," and concluded that "I hope Lombard realizes what they have in him ... I just hope Lombard appreciates him." An opening reception will be held Friday, Sept. 22, from 6-9 p.m. at Park Art Center, 9 E. Park Blvd., Villa Park. The exhibit will run through Oct. 28. The gallery is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is closed Sunday and Monday. For more information, call 630-501-1455, email firstname.lastname@example.org or visit www.parkartcenter.org.