Joliet Junior College adjunct art professor Margie Glass Sula said participating students began working on their design sketches last summer.

“The students wanted to incorporate old and new so to speak, the Rialto being a very old iconic theater, and the idea it’s still there functioning as a positive lasting beacon to the downtown Joliet area,” Sula said in an email. “Despite all the changes, ups and downs, it’s still there, embracing progress.”

Design elements included the comedy and tragedy masks from the ancient Greeks, geometry and urban street art “to show the theater’s ability to adapt to a changing world over the decades,” Sula wrote in the email.

Once the Rialto accepted their design, students estimated the amount of paint they needed while Rialto staff prepared the panels, Sula said.

Sula said Lori Schahrer, chair of the fine arts department, financed any supplies the students needed and provided studio space for the students to work.

Carol Foote, fine arts department secretary, accommodated supply orders and entry to the studio, Sula added.

In an email Sula said lead artist Julian Gonzales devoted most time to the project (200 hours). The following students also participated: Angela Moreno, (21 hours), Jacquelyn Listello (25 hours) and Kallyn Petrich (14 hours). Gonzales, of Romeoville, said he put the time and effort into the panels for several reasons:

Sula is his favorite teacher; he loves to paint; and he was allowed to incorporate some of his personal artistic style, such as lettering and spray painting.

He would love to collaborate on another project.

“I enjoy doing art and just want to get better,” Gonzalez said. “I like to be in shadows, but I like to be known as a person who does the art.”

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