Tony Schillaci has been a lifelong artist. As a seventh grader, he started learning with his sister, who never stopped encouraging him to create. In the early 70s as a Vietnam Veteran, Tony used his GI Bill to pay for undergraduate courses at the American Academy of Art in Chicago.
Schillaci says, “I was fortunate to have great teachers like Bill Parks, Irving Shapiro, and Douglas Graves.” In the early 80s, Tony returned to art once more by taking evening classes with instructor Max Randt. Randt quickly became a great friend. Every Sunday, Tony and Max enjoyed traveling around Northern Illinois painting en plein air until, as Tony puts it, “it wasn’t.”
Today, Schillaci’s artistic goal is to fill in the missing gaps in life where he says he “forfeited art for family and business.” His complete focus for the last several years has been painting every day without fail, trying to improve bit by bit, in order to find “the masterpiece within.” Max Randt, Tony’s instructor and friend, describes Tony’s artistic style as post-impressionist realism.