NORTH RIVERSIDE – Shopping malls allow customers to view the latest in clothing, electronic goods, jewelry – and, in North Riverside, fine art.
North Riverside Park Mall, 7501 W. Cermak Road, regularly displays works of art at the Classic Cinemas theater, located in the upper center portion of the facility. The shopping center works with the Chicago-based Falk Associates to select a new artist to highlight each month.
"They have been doing this for a couple of years. North Riverside Mall has a great space in their theater lobby," said Ali Kehoe, an account executive with the public relations firm. "This gives artists a good platform to display their work. It's only for a month, so they can do this without having to completely rearrange their schedule."
Michael Patete is the featured artist for June. A resident of Oak Park, Patete is a commercial interior architectural project principal with DePalma Group Architects. He also operates AAA Fine Art with his father, Nicholas.
Patete works with acrylics. His paintings include impressionist landscapes, particularly of Chicago. He said he has been influenced by Frank Lloyd Wright, Gerrit Thomas Rietveld and Piet Mondrian.
"[The organizers at North Riverside Park Mall] do a featured artist each month. I contacted them a year ago, and they put me in touch with the Falk public relations firm," Patete said. "I'm an architect for a commercial interior firm. I do a number of other things like working with local musicians, helping to promote them."
Patete has been working with art since he was young. He has been collecting art for decades.
He grew up in Arlington Heights and attended studied architecture and art at the University of Illinois at Chicago. He has served as a commercial interior architect for 25 years.
Patete said after starting his work in the architectural industry, he began spending more time help to promote local musicians. But several years ago, people organizing a charitable event raising money for breast cancer research were looking for art to auction off. Patete decided to become involved and returned to his artwork, he said.
Patete said he believes that opportunities to display work at venues like North Riverside Park Mall help artists become better known.
"I think its definitely beneficial," Patete said. "Otherwise, an artist's work typically goes unnoticed unless you have a website or something."
Patete's artwork will be on display at Classic Cinemas in North Riverside Park Mall through the end of the month.