Some exciting events are being planned by the Kalo Foundation this February in Park Ridge, IL to celebrate the 125th birthday of artist and designer, Alfonso Iannelli. Find out all the details after the jump...
"A February exhibit of Alfonso Iannelli artworks and artifacts on loan from two Iannelli experts—Dave Jameson and Tim Samuelson— at Iannelli Studios Heritage Center, 255 N. Northwest Highway, Park Ridge, will highlight the Kalo Foundation’s celebration of the 125th anniversary of the birth of Alfonso Iannelli all month long. Iannelli, who was born Feb. 17, 1888, lived and worked in Park Ridge from 1919 to 1965. An opening reception for the exhibit is planned for Friday, Feb. 1, from 7 to 9 p.m. at Iannelli Studios Heritage Center. In addition to opening night, the studio will be open Wednesday and Friday from 1 p.m. to 3 p.m. throughout the month.
"It is only fitting that we celebrate the birthday of this world famous artist who was one of the principal designers of the Pickwick Theatre," said Betsy Foxwell, president of the Kalo Foundation which saved his home and studio from demolition last year. The organization is currently in the midst of a fundraising campaign aimed at restoring the historic site. Plans call for transforming the location into a gathering place for classes, gallery exhibits, art heritage tours, a gift shop and more—as well as an attraction that draws visitors from all over the world to learn about Park Ridge's art colony legacy, especially this place at the corner of Elm and Northwest Highway where American Modernism put down its roots and influenced the world for 45 years.
The next event in the month-long celebration will be a talk, Greeting Card Workshops in Park Ridge, by Anne Stewart O’Donnell, on Sunday, Feb. 3, at 2 p.m. at Iannelli Studios Heritage Center. O’Donnell, who is Editor-in-Chief of Style 1900, is the author of an upcoming book on greeting cards in America from 1900 to WWII. A $10 donation is requested.
Next are two classes in silver clay jewelry making scheduled on Wednesday, Feb. 6 and Wednesday, Feb. 13, from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Limited to eight students, the classes will be taught by Vicky Bellisario, a Kalo board member, who owns “An Elephant Can Paint.” A donation of $75 will cover materials and instruction. For registration, please call 847-261-4595.
On Saturday, Feb. 16, you can discover your favorite pizza at a pizza tasting fest from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Park Ridge restaurants who are part of the pizza tasting event include Afresco, D’Agostino’s, and Spuntino’s and will offer samples of this classic Italian food in honor of Iannelli who often shared meals with people who came to see him at work in his studio. A ribbon cutting by Park Ridge Mayor Dave Schmidt will also be part of the event.
Alfonso Iannelli’s actual birthday on Sunday, Feb. 17, will be marked by a birthday celebration and presentation by Chicago Cultural Historian Tim Samuelson who will talk about the artist and his work. Those who attend will have the opportunity to blow out the candles on Iannelli’s birthday cake. A $10 donation is requested.
Next on the February schedule is a presentation entitled Tracing Your Geneology, A Case Study of Alfonso Iannelli by Margie LaCerra on Thursday, Feb. 21, at 7 p.m. Active in the Polish Geneological Society for several years, LaCerra has planned the Chicago area conference for the group for several years as well. A $5 donation is requested.
Rounding out the February events, the Horizon Brass Quintet will perform a program of classics on Thursday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m. The quintet, which includes Park Ridge artist and musician Andrew Lidgus, has played with the CSO, Lyric, and Millar Brass Ensemble. A $20 donation is requested.
Established in 2006, the Kalo Foundation is dedicated to safeguarding the rich artistic legacy of Park Ridge through education, advocacy, and preservation, as well as cooperatively promoting the cultural heritage of the city in pursuit of community revitalization.
In addition to these specific events, Iannelli Studios Heritage Center is open to the public on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Guests who are attending any event at the center are asked to park in the city parking lot across the street or the St. Andrews Lutheran Church parking lot and not on adjacent side streets. For more information about the February celebration or to donate online, go to www.kalofoundation.org or call 847-261-4595"
Image courtesy of Tim Samuelson