A part of the permanent collection at the Deke Slayton Memorial Space and Bike Museum in Sparta, Wisconsin, Rex’s “Spokes to the Stars” poster combines timeless symbols, heroic forms and strong colors to honor one of the original Mercury astronauts and celebrate a classic collection of bicycles. A victorian bicycle, an elegant starship, a bit of stardust and a harvest moon serve as the visuals in this romantic evolution of discovery — to boldly go where no bike has gone before.
A celebration of soulmates in Music — Rex’s image was an angelic take on the Art Deco Park Ridge Civic Orchestra logo. Honoring the late Edgar and Nancy Muenzer, co-founders of the PRCOrchestra in 1994, this concert featured former Chicago Symphony Orchestra violinist David Taylor as guest soloist. Held the week before Valentine’s Day, this was a once-in-a-lifetime concert included some of the Muenzer’s favorite pieces, including the “Balcony Scene” from Prokofiev’s Romeo and Juliet, Barry’s theme from Out of Africa, Dvorak’s “Romance, Op. 11,” and “Lara’s Theme” by Jarre from Doctor Zhivago, among others.
The seaside town of Kaikoura on New Zealand’s east coast has recently been hit by two major earthquakes. On November 14, 2016, access to the town of Kaikoura was cut off by a stun-
ning 7.8-magnitude quake that devastated the North Canterbury region of the South Island. On February 1, 2017, Kaikoura suffered a second hit from a strong 5.1-magnitude quake near the site of the 2016 November quake.
To support “Kaikoura Earthquake Relief,” I’ve designed a yes, dramatic, poster to help raise funds and other resources needed to rebuild and restore the historic Mayfair Theatre, an Art Deco-era masterpiece damaged by this disaster. I am working with the Kaikoura Theatre’s Executive Committee which oversees this community owned and operated treasure. To help with the rebuilding of the Mayfair Theatre, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for information on how to donate.
Fearless. Trend-setting. Tradition-Bending. Fun! That’s the art colony history of Park Ridge. This spiral bound book is 10 1/4 x 14 1/4 — features 30 powerful poster illustrations by award winning artist, Rex Parker celebrating the vibrant heritage of the Park Ridge art colony and, through his own artworks, the vitality of Park Ridge today.
Art is most often displayed in the world’s glittering big cities, but it doesn’t always start there. The quiet Chicago suburb of Park Ridge, Illinois, was home to a thriving art colony that attracted some of the country’s most remarkable talents. Painting, sculpting, metalwork, musical composition, architecture and even typeface design that attained worldwide recognition was abundant here from the late l890s through the Depression. But in our busy post-WWII society, this treasured local art history went unnoticed by many.
Rex’s bold colorful, book of collectible posters on “The Park Ridge Art Colony” is a celebration of Clara Barck Welles, Kalo, Grant Wood, Alfonso Iannelli, Frederick Goudy, The Village Press and John Alden Carpenter. Included in the book is one of Rex’s own favorite poster series “Legends of the Pickwick Theatre” these posters herald movies, locally raised celebrity actors and other creatives that enriched Park Ridge; a series some have called a modern Art Deco masterpiece. Rex simply calls it doing good works.
Created for the Park Ridge Civic Orchestra 2016 holiday concert, these wonderful Art Deco Reindeers dashing upwards to a radiant Christmas Star make for a “Unforgettable” poster. It was a night of fun to celebrate the splendor of the season with family and friends at this concert, featuring timeless music, angelic voices, and more.
The Moweaqua Coal Mine Museum has announced the recent acquisition of Rex Parker’s “Always” and “Moweaqua’s Christmas Angels.” Each of Rex’s dramatic posters celebrates the extraordinary lives and hardships of the hard-working heroes of the Moweaqua coal mining -community. His powerful images further enhance the Moweaqua Coal Mine Museum’s col-
lection of unique artifacts, from small gas detectors, miners’ lamps, historical documents, rare vintage photographs, exhibitions and geological coal samples from the mine. These are the first posters by the artist to enter the museum’s collection.
Parker has a unique connection to the museum location: His grandparents owned the building in the 1940’s and ran the Parker Feed Store with a little roadside fruit stand, “It was a community gathering spot, a lot like Starbucks today,” said Rex’s father John Haldon Parker.
Parker used a unforgiving, gritty pointillism style, with a blue monochromatic palette to express these uniquely American subjects. The audacious “Always” poster shows the noble dignity of Moweaqua coal miners, enduring backbreaking labor in the dark labyrinths of the coal mine.
The “Moweaqua’s Christmas Angels” poster is a touching tribute to the final chapter of the Moweaqua coal mine that was written at 8:15 a.m. on December 24, 1932, when an explosion of methane gas blew through the mine, killing 54 miners at work on that heartbreaking Christ-
The Park Ridge Public Library was proud to host an insightful lecture by Karen Larsen of the Kalo Foundation on the remarkable artistic history of “The Park Ridge Arts Colony” featuring dynamic posters by resident artist Rex Parker.
One of Rex’s favorite poster, the truly majestic Art Deco “Radio Flyer Pavilion” was based on Alfonso Iannelli’s exhibit designed for — A Century of Progress: 1933 Chicago World’s Fair.
Karen’s presentation was a celebration of the innovative works of — Clara Barck Welles, Kalo, Grant Wood, Alfonso Iannelli, The Village Press, John Alden Carpenter, Frederick Goudy and the world-class status of “The Park Ridge Arts Colony”.
Rex’s love of movies and architecture are intertwined in this poster series of “Spectacular Movie Palaces”. The Golden Age of Hollywood is most visible in Rex’s sleek, streamlined — “Normal Theater” poster an Art Moderne-style theater that opened in 1937, in Normal, Illinois.
Rex’s “Mayfair Theatre” poster infuses Art Deco with a nautical flair. The 1934 building in Kai-
koura, New Zealand, with its perfectly symmetrical design has patterns of lines that stretch the length of the building’s facade with wonderfully pastel hues of pink and sandstone. It is an exceptional example of New Zealand’s Art Deco style.
Artist Rex Parker remembers growing up in a small rural community, where everyone home-
canned tomatoes, green beans and corn from backyard gardens.
This eye-catching image for the Park Ridge Farmers Market mixes childhood memories and Park Ridge’s connection with artist Grant Wood that gives a fresh look to a local attraction.
The Farmers Market “Celebrating 25 Years!” branding program has been used in advertising, posters, eblasts, websites, t-shirts, tote bags, banners, kiosk displays and signage.
In 2016 the City of Park Ridge featured this image on the annual Vehicle Sticker seen on over 35,000 local automobiles.
This is truly “A Farm Fresh Masterpiece”.
The Center of Concern is a non-profit social service agency providing services and housing solutions to seniors, the disabled and others in need, enabling them to live safely and independently. The Center of Concern has been supporting families and strengthening community for nearly 40 years. For the new “Senior Help Line” Rex designed a marketing program using bright pastel colors, vintage bicycles, engaging seniors & a darling Yorkie.
Take a trip back to the sixties with Rex’s “The UnClassic” poster for the Center of Concern’s annual summer fundraiser — Peace, Love, & Miniature Golf!
The Kalo Foundation of Park Ridge has taken a leading role in advancing the remarkable artitic history of “The Park Ridge Arts Colony” through education, advocacy, and preservation. For the Foundation’s the 10th Anniversary, Rex was delighted to support this group with two bright, vibrant and energetic images which were used in kiosk displays, posters and on crowdfunding platforms.