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When the coronavirus shuts down art shows, one Southeast artist puts up his art show on his fence!

ELIZABETH USSHER GROFF - Heres some of the original and very unique art that, on Labor Day weekend, hung in front of the Creston-Kenilworth house of Efrain Palermo - artist, and citizen scientist.On white cloth along his house's fence, Efrain Palermo's works of art were hanging on display over Labor Day Weekend to create a "sidewalk gallery". Now that museums and galleries are closed, and art shows are cancelled, he loves putting out his self-described "fantastical" art to bring some positivity into the neighborhood during the pandemic, and to lighten up what can be a rather dismal COVID world.

He calls these sidewalk gallery displays in the Creston-Kenilworth neighborhood "An Evolution of an Art Style". When he describes the process of creating what he calls "sculpted oils", the amount of unique creativity and patience involved almost defies belief. By steaming and bending thin strips of wood, he creates custom frames – then fills them in with plaster, carves out the plaster, and paints the forms.

Each of these art pieces has a theme – often science-based – because Palermo has loved being a "citizen scientist" ever since high school. "All of my art work and science inventions come from being self-taught," he tells THE BEE.

One piece of his art hanging on the fence features sculpted parts of a cell – the nucleus, mitochondria, and endoplasmic reticulum. And several years ago a number of television channels showed the public Palermo's unique solar projector for use during the total solar eclipse.

An inventor, author, and artist, 66 year-old Palermo was born in Brooklyn, New York, to Puerto Rican parents. Fascinated by both space and science from his childhood, he integrates these interests into his art, into books he has authored, and into his inventions. He expressed his thoughts about his art and life – especially during the COVID-19 pandemic – in these statements during a recent interview with KGW-TV News Channel 8: "Actually, what happens is, in some cases, things break – actually break in half, or are totally destroyed. But I use the breakage as part of my work: Yes, they break, but how do I put it back together?

"And I think that's actually a lesson in life, as well. Life is hard; what do you do when things happen? Do you throw it away? Or do you actually use that 'scar tissue' or whatever it is, to enhance your next phase?"

To learn more about this talented Inner Southeast resident – and to see his art, inventions, and books, go online – www.palermoproject.com


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