Frank Gallo of Urbana, IL passed away unexpectedly on March 22, 2019 at his home. He was born in Toledo, OH, on January 13, 1933, to Joseph and Pauline. They preceded him in death, along with his brothers, Sam and Bill, and a sister Betty.
He is survived by his treasured children Joseph (Stephanie) Gallo of Urbana; Polly Gallo of Champaign; grandchildren Dillon, Ian, Mason, and Mia Gallo; and his first wife Mary Gallo. He also leaves behind his dear friends Barbara and Anne Wolfe.
Frank graduated from the University of Toledo and received his MFA from the University of Iowa, where he worked with renowned printmaker Mauricio Lasansky. He was a sculptor and the Head of Graduate Sculpture at the University of Illinois. In 1985, he was awarded the Senior Scholar award from the University. Throughout his years as a teacher, Gallo continued to create his own unique sculptures. For a number of years, he exhibited large epoxy figures before going to France in 1972 to study glass at Daum Cristallerie. Frank was a pioneer in cast paper, a technique he taught in the handmade paper and paper casting program he helped initiate at Illinois.
In 1969 he was commissioned by Time magazine to produce the magazine’s cover art featuring a sculpture of Raquel Welch which is in the collection of the National Sculpture Museum. It was recognized as Cover of the Year by the American Institute of Graphic Arts.
Frank received numerous awards during his career, including a Guggenheim Foundation Fellowship in 1966; National Academy of Arts and Letters Award for Excellence, 1969; Best Illustrator of the Year, Society of Published Designers, 1979; National Sculpture Society Annual Sculpture Prize, 1992; and Best of Category Award, Chicago ’79 Annual.
Museum exhibitions holding major examples of his work include The Whitney Museum of American Art; Museum of Arts and Contemporary Crafts, New York, “People Figures,” 1966; Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto International Sculpture Symposium, 1967; Alliance on Art, Smithsonian Institute, Washington, DC, 1968; Museo de Arte Moderna, Rio de Janeiro; Works on Paper, Art Institute of Chicago, 1978; Royal College of Art in London group exhibition in 1978; Frank Gallo Retrospective, Paine Art Center, Oshkosh WI, 1983; the Metropolitan Museum of Modern Art; Los Angeles County Museum; and the Baltimore Museum of Art. In 1968, Frank represented the U.S. in the prestigious Venice Biennale.
Frank’s family will remember him for his generosity, his unique sense of humor, and his brazen personality. He was loved by many. His larger than life persona and his contributions to the art world will be missed by friends, family, and students. A memorial and celebration of Frank’s life will be held at a later date.
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