Officer Michael A. Ceriale Memorial Foundation
Chicago Police Memorial Foundation
I have been drawing ever since I could hold a crayon. It fascinated me to create the illusion of something real or tangible and freeze it in time and two dimension. When I was in high school my art teacher encouraged me to enter a water color painting I was working on into an art competition for the 5th congressional district art contest. To my surprise I placed third.
After high school I was accepted at Ray College of Design now known as The Illinois institute of Art. I had a bunch of great instructors, and was well on my way with a fundamental academic approach to drawing and painting, and earned a degree in fine art/illustration. A few years out of college I was hired by a Chicago based company called Skyline Design. While working for skyline I was able to hone my skills and had the ability to learn many other trade craft skills.
When the Cows on Parade became public, Skyline was able to design and paint several cows. Most however were designed by other firms while skyline would execute the painting part of it. I had the privilege of being the person that painted all the cows that came through the door.
Time passed and I decided that I wanted to make art more personal. I wanted to pave my own road into the art world, so to speak. But I needed to take a break from creating commercial art at that point, and re-focus my thoughts on what and how to do it. So I changed full time job careers, in order to think outside the box, and I became a Chicago Police Officer. Being a police officer has allowed me to see more of Chicago and it’s people, which helped me focus more about what I want to do with my art. I believe that my art is another way to tell people a story or an image of beauty.
While in the academy I met Wendy, also a recruit in the training process. Wendy and I eventually married and we have two wonderful daughters. Wendy has always given me her full support to create art. Wendy has great managing skills and a good eye in efforts to help me pave the way I envision the art I create.
Thirteen years have gone by and within that I have done a few freelance jobs illustrating. Within the last year I have decided that I need to put more action into getting my art more publicized and specifically into competitions, juried shows, and galleries. I’m currently working on a theme of paintings to accomplish this. Last year I joined the American Watercolor Society, and I’m exited to be an associate member at this point, with ambitions of moving up to a signature member.