A Forest Park experiment in creativity and community drew artists, neighbors and the curious to the alley of the 1000 block of Marengo Aug. 23. 

Three garage owners opened their overhead doors to reveal impromptu gallery spaces, lit with Christmas lights. Visitors snacked on fruit and nibbles and drank wine as they viewed works by local artists who lived down the block and around the corner. 

Franklin Park acrylics painter Ping Lazzarini displayed landscapes and floral images. Forest Parker Jim Drown showed his oversized silver gelatin black and white photographs of obscured human images. He said he produced them in industrial darkrooms at Harold Washington University. 

Three of the nine Turilli siblings, who founded the event, displayed artwork. Amy Turilli displayed her paintings, JoAnne showed her whimsically folk decorated mod-podged household items and sister Barbara displayed pencil drawings. Neighbors oohed and ahhed over the Turilli grandfather’s handcarved furniture and décor items from the early 20th Century. 

Berwyn illustrator Jim Pavelec also participated with some of his surreal images. 

The artists ranged from children to retirees. Madeline Elvart, a tween student, displayed handmade photo cards. Retired architectural drafter John Rombakis displayed his hand-drawn optical illusions which he called “artistic projects with geometric designs.”

Organizers and well-wishers agreed the concept was a good one that should be repeated next year. 


Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...