Rockford Art Guild members complete ‘eggstraordinary’ challenge

From left: Crackpotz egg, Deborah Perinno egg, Dee Santorini painted egg, John Naretta egg and Santorini egg.
From left: Crackpotz egg, Deborah Perinno egg, Dee Santorini painted egg, John Naretta egg and Santorini egg.

Staff Report

In summer 2013, Dee Santorini and Liz Liles, artists with the Rockford Art Guild, were coming back from an art show in Door County, Wisconsin, and decided to drop in at Dove Tail Gallery in Egg Harbor. After an hour packed with browsing and talking with store owners, they left with one of the most exciting things an artist can find — a challenge to their creativity.

Egg Harbor was launching their 50th Anniversary Celebration with a challenge to artists. They asked for design concepts from artists across the country to produce 2-foot-tall, three-dimensional eggs decorated with original designs from the artists. Santorini, president of the Rockford Art Guild, rushed out an e-mail to members of the Guild, inviting them to a brainstorming session. And the flurry of creativity began!

In October 2013, Egg Harbor shipped out 2-foot-tall plastic eggs to 50 artists across the country — the “canvas” for the art, as it were. Five of these eggs were delivered to Rockford Art Guild members.

I think this is quite an honor for us,” Santorini said. “We have some talented artists in the Guild, and we are happy to support the arts in Door County.”

Artists worked for eight months, creating the visions inside their heads. Some worked in paints, other in clay or copper, or other materials they were comfortable with. Local artists produced the following:

• John Naretta, Rockford Art Guild vice president, did an oil painting on one egg, a dramatic impressionistic rendition of boats floating in Egg Harbor slips.

• Dee and Bruce Santorini produced a mosaic raku-fired clay egg — complete with back-lit translucent orbs. “My husband, Bruce Santorini, is an engineer at UTAS (Sundstrand),” Dee said, “so of course he had to tear the egg apart so he could install lighting and make the bulb easily changed. The thing is almost indestructible!”

• Deb Perrino, Guild member from Janesville, Wisconsin, painted Metamorphosis.

• Crackpotz pottery made a large one-piece, blue-and-white clay egg. “Our special egg is named ‘White Cap Splash’, after the beautiful waves rolling onto the shoreline in Egg Harbor,” said Jim Whitt, potter at Crackpotz and main IT guy for the Rockford Art Guild. “It is special to me because that is where my wife Liz spent her summers growing up.”

• Painter Dee Santorini created a loose abstract of the interaction of sun and sea on her egg, “The Road To Serenity.”

Eggs have been displayed in Egg Harbor throughout the summer, and will be auctioned off Aug. 23. Proceeds from the auction will be divided among the artists who produced the eggs, and the rest will go toward arts programs in the area.

Egg Harbor did a first-rate job on this fund-raiser,” Santorini said. “They provided us with the eggs, gave each artist a check for $75 for art supplies, and then are splitting the proceeds with the artists. That type of generosity and consideration for artists who donate work is not very common. I would like to see more organizations be this considerate of the artists who give so much to their causes.”

Posted Aug. 20, 2014

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!