Artist Charles Fazzino has been lauded as a "pop culture historian" whose work captures the highlights of modern life. His paintings and sculptures are known for an attention to intricate detail, use of bright colors and an assemblage technique that adds literal depth to the work. His art has been exhibited in hundreds of museums and galleries in more than 20 countries.
The Gallery at Penn College will host "Charles Fazzino: Collective Pop," featuring 18 original works by Fazzino alongside 11 works by fifth graders and four works by high school students, from July 10 through Aug. 24. The gallery is located in the Madigan Library on the Pennsylvania College of Technology campus.
reception for the show will be held at 7 p.m. Aug. 18. The Gallery, located on the third floor (Room 303) of the Madigan Library of the Pennsylvania College of Technology Campus in Williamsport, will be closed on July 25.
Fazzino worked directly with fifth grade students during the creation of the official artwork for the 75th Anniversary of the Little League, worked with those students' art teachers as they developed and completed independent projects with the students, put on a master class and art contest for high school art students, and presented a multimedia presentation for the students at the Community Arts Center. The projects were initiated and supported by the First Community Foundation Partnership of Pennsylvania.
Of the experience, Fazzino said, "These young artists are an inspiration to me, and the idea of being able to inspire them to create such brilliance is humbling. I'm proud to hang my art with theirs and will forever treasure the experiences I had working with them in honor of the 75th Anniversary of Little League Baseball."
Cindy Troutman-Myers, whose Rommelt Elementary fifth graders were among those who worked with Fazzino, said, "Charles is a great artist and a down to earth person who is willing to share his style of art with us (the fellow art teachers). He was excited to hear our ideas for the Little League collaboration projects and gave us advice to improve them. I think I was as excited about working with Charles as my students."
Nicole Hoinowski, who teaches art for fifth through eighth grades at C.E. McCall Middle School, also worked with Fazzino and said that her fifth graders were "completely appreciative" of what she called a "once in a lifetime opportunity."
Fazzino graduated from the School of Visual Arts in New York City and has been classified with Pop artists like Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, Red Grooms and Roy Lichtenstein. Pop art is often commercially successful, and Fazzino's is no exception; the list of collectors and recipients of his work includes names like Rudy Giuliani, President George H. W. Bush, Michael Jordan, Wolfgang Puck and Prince Albert of Monaco.
Commissioning Fazzino for the 75th Anniversary of Little League Baseball must have been a fairly obvious choice, then. His commissions have included work for American and International sports events and institutions like Super Bowls XXXV - XLVIII, the Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum, the 2003-2014 Major League Baseball Games, the 2007 and 2008 NHL All-Star Games and the 2000-2014 Olympic Games.
"I am truly honored to be a part of this exhibition at The Gallery at Penn College," Fazzino said.
Looking at reproductions of Fazzino's work, it's easy to see why. His paintings aren't unlike Richard Scarry's illustrations for his famous children books like "What Do People Do All Day?" or "The Busy World." Each canvas is a sort of cataloging of time and place, full (quite full, in fact) with people, vehicles, and buildings - all varying in size, color, and shape. You can expect to see all of a city's major landmarks and calling cards all vying for space. Fazzino's take on Philadelphia, for example, features a giant cheese steak dripping precariously over the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. If Ken Burns painted, he'd probably make something like a long, multi-part Fazzino painting with desaturated colors.