The following comes from the Oak Park Public Library:
Re-Discover Reginald Mars, a set of newly restored original paintings by Midwest artist Reginald Mars (1901-1973), will be on display in Oak Park Public Library’s Main Library Art Gallery, 834 Lake St., Aug. 2 through Aug. 31Mars’ work has been part of the fabric of the Oak Park community since being installed in Park District of Oak Park’s Ridgeland Common in 1963. Recently restored by local art conservation expert Timothy Lennon, this series by Mars will be celebrated at a reception, open to everyone, in the Main Library Art Gallery, Sunday, Aug. 3 from 3 to 5 pm.In 1962, when local architect Jack Barclay designed the building at Ridgeland Common, Reginald Mars was commissioned to create a series of paintings depicting the activities of Oak Park and of the Park District’s programs. Among the activities featured in the colorful paintings, which lined the walls of the Comstock Room, are swimming, diving, basketball, baseball, ice skating, hockey and curling.As time passed and the facilities were remodeled, the paintings were eventually put in storage. In March 2011, the Park District of Oak Park’s Art Advisory Committee began to raise funds to restore the paintings. The kick-off fundraising event at Pleasant Home brought together architect Jack Barclay and Oak Park art conservator Timothy Lennon, retired from the Art Institute of Chicago and later commissioned by the Park District to restore the paintings.The Main Library Art Gallery is open seven days a week during regular hours. More information about Re-Discovering Reginald Mars, and art in the Library, can be found at oppl.org/art About Reginald Mars A long-time resident of Oak Park, Mars was a widely known Midwest artist when he died in 1973.Born in Petersburg, IL, Mars attended Peoria public schools before majoring in graphic arts at the University of Iowa, where he won prizes for his artwork at the Iowa State Fair. Locally, Mars served as President of the Oak Park Art League between 1962-1965.