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Staten Island artist Gregory Perillo to donate art work to charity

Artist depicts unspoiled people, animals, and stories
The Staten Island Advance

Gregory Perillo, a painter and sculptor of note locally and globally has decided to donate 25 of his favorite original works of art work for display in the prestigious Birds of Paradise Resort in St. Petersburg, Florida during the month of May. Columnist Carol Ann Benanti of The Staten Island Advance reports that 100 percent of the proceeds will be donated to charities in Florida, adds the report.

The report on www.silive,com on April 13 states that charities in both Tampa and St. Petersburg will benefit organizations including The Joshua House and The Ronald McDonald House, boys clubs and other charitable organizations. Perillo, a life-long Staten Island resident still resides in Tottenville on Staten Island.

The 25 original pieces of art work include original paintings and bronze statues, "along with newly released Giclee canvas museum facsimile reproductions. The artwork/subjects will cover his Western art, wildlife, landscapes, children and sports," adds Benanti in The Advance.

"But that doesn’t mean that Perillo hasn’t distinguished himself for his generosity on the local level as well. It’s interesting to note that his painting, “Blue Spruce (Navajo)” was exhibited in the governor’s executive mansion in Albany for 12 years during the administration of Governor George E. Pataki. Then, in lieu of returning the painting, Perillo asked Governor Pataki to forward the painting to PS 35, since he attended the Sunnyside school until the third grade."

"A number of his paintings also are on display in public schools and churches throughout the borough.
What’s more, former Borough President James P. Molinaro and the city School Construction Authority have commissioned Perillo to execute a life-size bronze sculpture of a Lenape Indian, to be placed in front of PS 62, Rossville, when it opens in 2015. The Lenapes were original settlers of Staten Island," adds Benanti in the Advance.

"For the past two decades, Perillo has dedicated himself to philanthropic work, including donating his time and talents to the New York City Public School system, the Boy Scouts of America, the American Parkinson’s Disease Association, 9/11 charities and a number of other charitable and humanitarian causes," states the article.

Perillo stressed to The Advance: “My father taught me the importance of giving back. And I try to give to those who deserve it.” An Italian-American, Perillo was born in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan but moved with his family to Staten Island as a boy.

Perillo told The Advance that his work depicts children, wild animals, unspoiled peoples. “Maybe they won’t be around much longer, and maybe I can hold on to some of that life in my paintings,” Perillo said to the newspaper. He said that his father was a storyteller with a love of America and its history which inspired his art work.

"As a youngster, he studied the works of the masters of American Western art, spending much of his time at the American Indian exhibit in the American Museum of Natural History in Manhattan," added Benanti in The Advance. "Perillo was one of the first Western artists to combine portraits of animals and humans on canvas; in fact, he does all facets of the American West, including wildlife in a style that combines realism and impressionism."

After serving in the Navy during World War II, Perillo began his formal art education through the GI Bill. He attended the Pratt Institute, the School of Visual Arts and the Art Students League. "Interestingly, Perillo’s most productive learning experience was spawned from a visit to Arizona in 1950, where he had a chance meeting with the legendary American master William Robinson Leigh, one of his early mentors," added Benanti in The Advance. "Today, Perillo’s artwork hangs in hundreds of private and corporate collections, galleries and museums throughout the United States.
Since the 1980s, his paintings have been reproduced in many different mediums, from Giclee canvas art, lithographs and limited-edition collectibles."

Those interested in exploring Perillo’s website and in purchasing artwork, should visit http://www.gregoryperillo.com. Not-for-profit organizations interested in contacting Perillo may do so through his website, adds The Advance.