Evening of art

Friday, November 2, 2001

Mark Rospenda spends his days working for a Chicago design company. At night the former cartoonist makes fine art, including works in many media, sculpture and large-scale pieces. That pursuit has led to his first solo show, "Works from the Basement," opening Friday, Nov. 2 at the Lorimier Gallery in Cape Girardeau.

Rospenda will be present for the opening reception from 5-8 tonight. His works will be auctioned off by the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri. The proceeds will go to the American Red Cross' disaster relief fund.

Also opening next door at Gallery 100 is "Fractured Memory Paintings by Bridget Parris." The galleries are located at 119 Independence St.

The reception for the two shows coincides with the Arts Council of Southeast Missouri's annual membership renewal party, titled An Evening with the Arts.

Following the reception, the party will move to Academic Auditorium at Southeast Missouri State University, where at 8 p.m. British pianist Jack Gibbons will entertain in a public concert called "The Authentic George Gershwin."

The Arts Council Board of Directors will present its Otto Dingeldein Award for Excellence in the Arts during the concert intermission.

After the concert, Gibbons with be feted with a champagne and chocolate reception at the Arts Council galleries. An auction of works by Dr. Jean Chapman, Katherine Ellinger Smith, Mark Rospenda and Richard Bangert then will be held to benefit the Arts Council.

Rospenda is a 2000 graduate of DePaul University in Chicago. He grew up in a Chicago suburb, and his works reflect his place as a man and a young artist in the city.

The works he created for the show include a series of postcards, three paint-by-number self-portraits and three paintings of the Chicago intersection of Webster and Ashland.

His work has previously been shown at the Fra Angelico National Art Competition and the DePaul Humanities Center.

Parris teaches at the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and at Pace University in New York City. She has a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, a master's in painting and drawing, and an master's in art history from Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge.

In her artist's statement, she says she is "concerned with the way memories are distorted through time, and how they can affect the present ... Memories and dreams are transformed and integrated until they begin to take on a mythical form."

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