On his way to the big time Mt. Prospect artist ready for exhibition in the Big Apple - Thomasfedro

On his way to the big time Mt. Prospect artist ready for exhibition in the Big Apple

By Matt Arado Daily Herald Staff Writer Posted on October 10, 2007

For a practicing artist, securing a spot in a New York City exhibition is similar to a screenwriter selling a script in Hollywood - it's the first step on the way to the big time.Mount Prospect artist Thomas Fedro is about to take that step, with an exhibition next month at the Agora gallery in the SoHo section of New York.Fedro, who grew up in Arlington Heights and moved to Mount Prospect four years ago, has already made a name for himself in and around Chicago. He was one of the artists involved in the city's Cows on Parade exhibit a few years ago, and his paintings have been featured at numerous gallery exhibitions in the city and suburbs.But as much as he appreciates the success he's had here, Fedro can't wait for the upcoming exhibition in the Big Apple."It's the kind of exposure every artist dreams of," he said, sipping a glass of wine inside Retro Bistro, the Mount Prospect restaurant that has become something of a second home to him. "It's like being called to the major leagues."Fedro's paintings come in two styles, he said. He describes his earlier work as "pop" art: brightly colored, energetic pictures that often feature images of musicians or musical instruments. His newer work is more abstract, though still marked by the use of vibrant color.Fedro, a Rolling Meadows High School graduate and a music major in college, worked a number of jobs after earning his degree, including a stint with IBM doing computer graphics. Drawing and art, though, were always hobbies. He earned some money on the side copying Patrick Nagel paintings on the back of denim jackets and selling them to stores.It was his wife, Alicia, who finally persuaded him to pursue painting more seriously."She told me to do my own thing," he said. "So I got a job bartending and waiting tables to pay the bills and started to paint."Fedro has tended bar at Retro Bistro for about 10 years. He works there three or four nights a week, and spends his days painting in his basement studio. He estimates that he produces about two new pieces a week.Much of his art hangs on the walls of Retro Bistro, where it's available for purchase. Art collectors can also check out Fedro's work on his Web site, www.fidostudio.com.Fedro hopes that his New York exhibition will expose his work to a wider audience, but he said he's not about to forget the people in the city and suburbs who have supported him until now."People here at the restaurant and in this area have been very supportive," he said. "I have a lot of repeat customers, and I'm very grateful to them." 

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