Howard native builds art career in Italy


September 08, 1998|By Sally Voris | Sally Voris,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A MURAL depicting a Bedouin tribesman telling stories to children graces the wall of the study of Concetta and Eugene Pierelli, Normandy Heights residents for more than 30 years. Their son, Louis Pierelli, created the artwork on one of his trips home from Florence, Italy.

He used techniques he learned in 21 years in Florence restoring frescoes, sculpture and other art objects.

A 1974 graduate of Mount Hebron High School, Louis studied art history at the Johns Hopkins University and won a fellowship from Syracuse University to study in Florence.

He started his own business, Nike Restauro Di Opere D'Arte, and has won contracts to restore artworks in Italy.

Pierelli credits his art teacher at Mount Hebron High School, Valentina Strickler, with inspiring his interest in art and painting.

Although he is engaged by his work in Italy, he enjoys the total change in culture his occasional trips home bring.

He visits his family -- including his brother and sister-in-law Gene and Jana, and his nephew, Terry -- who also lives in Ellicott City -- and friends, Thomasina Spore and Diana Marta, resident artists at the Howard County Center for the Arts.

He eats crabs from Mr. Bill's Terrace Inn in East Baltimore, orange chicken from Tony Cheng's Szechuan Restaurant and visits Lexington Market and the Walters Art Gallery.

He has also created large murals in other homes in the area. He describes these murals as "decorative architectural complexes on orientalizing themes."

He uses watercolor sketches he has made in his travels and "makes them narrative" when he creates the murals -- adding figures that tell a story.

He has learned to work quickly studying the fresco technique used in the Italian Renaissance to create works of art in slaked lime. In this technique, the pigments chemically bind with the still-wet lime to create lasting vibrant color when it dries.

Pierelli credits his work in Italy for giving him a deep understanding of such classical techniques; however, he enjoys the dynamic involvement of artists here in museum life. Plans called for a return to Florence last weekend.

There he will continue restoring two sculptures by Michelangelo, the "Genius of Victory" in the Piazzo Vecchio and the Bacchus figure at the National Sculpture Museum, also known as the Bargello Museum.

Magnolias all around

When Mount Hebron High School presents "Steel Magnolias" at 7: 30 p.m. in the school auditorium Sept. 16 through 19, the audience will sit on the stage surrounding the actresses.

The play, which has roles for six women, will be directed by Tom Sankey, who teaches math at Mount Hebron. He has directed the Howard County Summer Theater for years.

Sankey thought "Steel Magnolias" would showcase the talents of his female students.

But what would his male students do? His solution was three plays this year: "Steel Magnolias," the all-male "Twelve Angry Men" and a big musical production for everybody in the spring.

He cast "Steel Magnolias" in June. The actresses memorized the first act of this two-act play independently this summer and began rehearsals as soon as school opened.

April Broyles appears as the owner of a small-town Louisiana beauty shop where six women gather each week. Sarah Smith, Rachel Warren, Courtney Norman, Emilie Kulis and Ann Metz play supporting roles.

Tickets are $6 each. Reservations are suggested: 410-313-2880.

Microbrews on tap

The Ellicott City Lions and Cross Street Irregulars will be hosts for the 1998 Microfest from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday at Lions Club Community Hall, 5005 Waterloo Road. Twenty beers from 10 microbreweries will be featured.

The Lions held their first Microfest last year, when Brian Fritsche, an avid home-brewer, served as president of the club. He and Tom Sallese came up with the idea and organized the event.

This year, Ellicott City brewers include Ellicott Mills Brewing Co. and Bare Bones. Frederick Brewing Co. and Wild Goose Brewery of Salisbury will also offer their brews.

Beverages from these Baltimore-area brewers will also be served: Clipper City Brewing Co., Sissons SB Brewing Co., Brimstone Brewing Co., Red Brick Station, the Art Brewers Pub and DeGroen's.

Hot potato salad, sauerkraut, charcoal-grilled bratwurst, cake and coffee will provide the palate with solid food. Live music by De & Me -- a vocalist and guitarist -- games and door prizes will round out this Oktoberfest-esque event. Proceeds will benefit Lions Camp Merrick and the Alexander Graham Bell Association for the Deaf. The Lions Camp Merrick provides residential summer camps for blind and hearing-impaired children at its site along the Potomac River in Charles County.

Tickets are $20 and will be sold to those age 21 or older. Tickets: Sallese, 410-426-3019, or Joe Burns, 410-992-6239.

Pancake fair

Pancakes more your fancy? Consider the All-You-Can-Eat Pancake Breakfast and Craft Fair sponsored by the Father Comyns Council of the Knights of Columbus.

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