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Local News

Art meets rock in display to benefit St. Al's/St. Pat's

GuitART, a display of painted guitars held by St. Alphonsus/St Patrick Catholic School, is on display in the lobby of the Lemont Park District CORE.
GuitART, a display of painted guitars held by St. Alphonsus/St Patrick Catholic School, is on display in the lobby of the Lemont Park District CORE.

LEMONT – St. Alphonsus/St. Patrick Catholic School presents the GuitART Project “Instruments of Giving,” a collection of painted guitars to be sold later this month at a fundraiser gala.

They will be displayed at the Lemont Park District CORE through Saturday and auctioned off during the school’s Lil’ Bit of Country ‘n a Whole Lotta Rock ‘n Roll gala Feb. 22 at the Burr Ridge Marriott.

The community will have the chance to meet some of the artists during a dance party from 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday at the CORE.

Event organizer Lisa Simone-Porter said she came up with the idea after seeing the decorated guitars at the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland.

She said the school had a similar display three years ago with pigs. The pieces auctioned raised $40,000.

“As much as I love pigs, I didn’t want to repeat the same theme,” she said.

The guitars all have motifs, including various sports and a musically-inspired name.

Simone-Porter said she is particularly excited about a Chicago-themed guitar signed by members of the band.

A Celtics guitar was painted by eighth graders at St. Al’s/St. Pat’s.

Simone-Porter said she was able to find the rest of the artists through her connections as head of admissions for the American Academy of Art.

She said she recruited current and former students who volunteered their time for the project.

“When you think about these artists that are behind this creation and why they are doing that, they are really giving for a good cause,” she said.

John Hanley, who has been working as a sports illustrator for more than 20 years, painted a Chicago Cubs-themed guitar.

“I really enjoyed my time at the American Academy of Art, and I just thought that giving back to them would be a good idea,” he said. “Plus, I didn’t have anything to do at the time, so it was good timing.”

After Saturday’s party, the guitars will be held at the school until the gala.

Simone-Porter said gala tickets are available by calling 630-783-2220 or visiting


Nine piece ensemble

Nine guitars have been decorated for the St. Alphonsus/St. Patrick Catholic School GuitART Project:
• Chicago tribute guitar, “Color My World,” by Randy Vreeland
• Chicago Blackhawks championship guitar, “Chelsea Dagger,” also by Vreeland
• Cubs Hall of Fame guitar, “All the Way,” by John Hanley
• White Sox tribute guitar, “Don’t Stop Believing,” by John Zylstra
• Bear down Chicago Bears guitar, “We Will Rock You,” by Jessica Bryant and Nick Prodraza
• Blackhawks guitar, “Cold as Ice,” by Cory Cravatta
• Rock guitar, “Purple Haze,” by Adam Nowak and Hannah Amer
• Country legends guitar, “My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys,” by Lucas Durham
• Celtics guitar, “Picture Perfect Memories,” by the St. Al's/St. Pat's eighth grade students and teacher Eileen Bruno


If you go

What: GuitART premiere party
When: 6 to 8 p.m. Saturday
Where: Lemont Park District CORE, 16028 127th St.
More information: Includes red carpet entrance and DJ dance party

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