Elmhurst’s historic, well-loved Hamburger Heaven, at North and York, may be closed for the winter, but a realistic rendition of this famous diner can be viewed in Bruce Cascia’s “Bikes and Diners” solo art exhibition opening Jan. 22 in the Elmhurst Artists’ Guild Gallery at the Elmhurst Art Museum, 150 S. Cottage Hill Ave., Elmhurst. An artist’s reception open to the public will be held in the gallery on Friday, Jan. 25, from 7 to 9 pm.
Cascia paints in a photo-realistic style, mostly in oils but occasionally with acrylics. Initially, his images were of solitary diners, truck-stops and motorcycles, all placed in dramatic vistas of the American Southwest, calling to mind the freedom of the open road, according to Cascia. His recent focus has been on his “Chicago Hot Dog” series, paying homage to these diners, rapidly vanishing from the Chicago scene.
“Not only are they fun to paint, but when you find them, they are good places to enjoy a Chicago-style hot dog,” he said.
His bike paintings were included in the opening of the “Art of the Motorcycle” exhibit at Chicago’s Field Museum, and his most recent solo show, Chicago Style, was held at the Union League Club of Chicago, where a number of his Chicago hot dog stand portrayals were exhibited. “His realist paintings of Chicago hot dog stands celebrate and visually preserve these icons of Americana and Chicago’s heritage," according to the ULC. Cascia received his BFA from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana. His work is included in a number of corporate art collections, such as Oscar-Mayer, DDB Needham Worldwide, and Pearlnesco, as well as the private collections of Jay Leno, Dennis Hopper, and Peter Fonda. More information on Cascia’s art can be found at www.brucecasciagallery.com.
The Bikes and Diners exhibit can be viewed through March 1 during regular Museum hours, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturday from 10am to 5pm and Friday from 10am to 8pm. Friday is the Museum’s free admission day. At other times, admission for adults is $5, seniors and students $3, and children under 5, free.