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Parpard carves niche in community

Local artist creates signs, murals for Cazenovia, surrounding areas

Cazenovia artist, Paul Parpard, left, takes a minute from putting the finishing touches on  his 25-foot mural outside of Joey’s Classic Italian Restaurant, to pose for a photo with the owner, Joey DeCuffa.

Cazenovia artist, Paul Parpard, left, takes a minute from putting the finishing touches on his 25-foot mural outside of Joey’s Classic Italian Restaurant, to pose for a photo with the owner, Joey DeCuffa.

— In the surrounding areas, Parpard constructed the sign for the Sherwood Inn and Gallery 54 in Skaneateles, as well as Papa Gallo Mexican Restaurant, Craftsman Inn in Fayetteville. He is currently in the process of finishing a new sign for the White House, also in Fayetteville.

He confessed to losing count of all the businesses that display his signs, as they have increased exponentially in recent years.

“I try to make each piece a work of art, rather than just a sign,” Parpard said. “My clients are my greatest asset. It’s always an enjoyable experience because I’m asked to work for restaurants, banks, universities, churches and private residences. It’s very rewarding.”

Born in New York City, he spent much of his childhood in Rhinebeck. Although he was always attracted to drawing, Parpard said a trip to Europe with his mother when he was in eighth grade was one of the first times he encountered artwork by renowned artists.

He attended Syracuse University as an undergraduate studying advertising and graphic communication design, later earning a Master of Fine Arts.

Parpard also taught at Syracuse University for many years, instructing students in typography, drawing, visual communications, graphic design and advertising design. He was asked to design the 100th anniversary logo for the Syracuse football team.

After briefly working in finances and at American Greeting Cards as an artist, Parpard decided to move to Cazenovia, construct a home-studio, and focus more of his time on art. It was a fateful trip to Nantucket, Mass., that taught him how to utilize 23-karat gold leaf in his signs.

Since that expedition, Parpard has been commissioned to create signs for numerous businesses and residences outside Central New York. Much of his recognizable work can also be found in both North and South Carolina, as well as Washington, D.C.

Parpard admits to acquiring a full work-load, a daunting task for just one man with a chisel, and has begun to seek an apprentice or assistant interested learning more about the craft and graphic design.

Those wishing to learn more, can contact Paul Parpard Studios at 655-4333 or by appointment at 4722 Syracuse Road in Cazenovia.

Pierce Smith is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at 434-8889 ext. 338 or editor@cazenoviarepublican.com.

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