Phil Renaud Memorial Exibition
Quite a crowd gathered for this memorial event, unique, at least during my 20 years at the club.
As expected, there were family, students, and artists.
But what surprised me were all the neighbors who showed up.
Phil and Carol lived on a cul-du-sac that ran up against the Chicago River in Ravenswood Manor, such a pleasant little area that people got to know each other and never moved away.
Phil did this portrait when he was 16.
That's his Chicago home on the left.
I wish I could have shot the drawings close-up, but there was too much reflection. More of Phil's work can be seen here
Here's Phil's son, Bret, as a lifeguard. (he's now working on a much larger boat as a diver for the Chicago Fire Department)
Here's an excerpt from a letter that was read. sent by a lifetime friend from Phil's hometown of Edmonton, Alberta:
Anybody that knew Phil knew that he was unflappable, a very laidback kind of guy A perfect example was the morning we were leaving our small city of 125,000 plus to the metropolis of Chicago.
I went to pick him up at the scheduled time of 8:00am. so that we could catch our ride with friends from Springfield who were returning home from visiting family.
When I arrived Phil was still in bed sound asleep! His mum & I got him up dressed, packed, fed & out the door just in time to catch our ride. He remained almost totally unfazed thru this whole process.
When Phil & I arrived in Chicago we set up house in a small, walk-up tenement apartment on the fourth floor with no view on State & Ohio.
We started our classes about one week late & walked into a nude life class in progress (a first for us) and proceeded to set up our drawing boards, all the while trying to maintain some semblance of cool.
Trying to concentrate on our task ahead of us, I nudged Renaud and said” Phil!, there’s a pretty girl looking at me, I think she likes me” Phil! glanced over and nonchalantly said “oh yah” and went back to his board.
As it turned out she wasn’t looking at me but at Phill!! That girl was Carol Cooper, Phil’s future wife, and the rest is history.
Here's his obituary in the Chicago Sun-Times.
Portrait by Mary Qian
(my New City review of the show is here )