- Sun, Dec 17, 2017
- 3:00 PM - 3:00 PM
- Sourced by
Added Dec 08 2017
Fundraiser Benefit for the National Brain Tumor Society featuring A Retrospective of the Artistic Works of Connie Villari Tartaglia
WHEN: Sunday, December 17th, 2017, 3:00pm - 11:00pm
WHERE: Connies Ric Rac, 1132 S. 9th Street, Philadelphia PA 19147
WHY: Connie Villari Tartaglia has lived in South Philadelphias Italian Market her entire life. When she was 18 she ran away from home in an effort to escape a very strict Sicilian father and married Joe Tartaglia. Over the years, when times were tough, Connie found a tremendous amount of solace by escaping into her glorious, multicolored oil paintings. Those times would have been nearly unbearable if it were not for their newborn son Jojo, and a love for creating art. During this period she churned out dozens of beautiful masterpieces, most of which she gave away to friends and family.
Eventually, the family welcomed another child, this one named Frank. At that point, Connie packed away her paintbrushes to open up a different kind of business in the Italian Market. Among the fruit and produce stands, Connie opened a small electronics and knick-knack store and called it "Connie's Ric Rac," which she ran for nearly twenty years.
Over the years, her sons Jojo and Frank worked as actors, movie producers, and musicians. After living in New York for a few years, they returned in 2006 to their roots and re-opened Connies Ric Rac, this time as a performance and art venue. In just a few years, the Ric Rac, became a staple of the Philadelphia music scene. As the Ric Rac grew, both as a business and a community of artists, Jojo was becoming gravely ill. However, it was not evident until one day he began suffering splitting headaches, blurry eyesight and the inability to even operate his legs. The sudden symptoms sent him to the ER immediately and he was quickly diagnosed with glioblastoma, also called GBM, a lethal type of brain cancer. Within 6 short months, the disease took Jojos life, leaving the family, including his three children Vienna, Joseph, and Frank, devastated. Connie would stare into her yard every morning hoping to see a red bird, and every evening would watch the sunset, images that make her feel her son Jojo is still with her.
After some time, she dusted off those old paintbrushes and began again. Out of this tremendous tragedy came something beautiful, the re-birth of an artist.
"I just like to play," she often says as she works on paintings in her kitchen that looks out onto the garden, where she looks for those red robins to perch, even for just one moment, to remind her of Jojo.
Frankie, upon noticing the pileup of new paintings in her house, had an idea: Connie deserves to have these works displayed. Being modest about her talents, it took some coaxing from Frankie to convince his mother to have a showing of her works. "I'll do it," she said, "but only if all the proceeds go to brain cancer research".
Fundraiser Benefit for the National Brain Tumor Society &
Retrospective of the Artistic Works of Connie Villari Tartaglia
Connie's Ric Rac
1132 S 9th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19147
Sunday, December 17th, 2017
3:00pm - 11:00pm
Musical performances by The Spinning Leaves, Katie Barbato, Daniel Collins, Kelvin Cochrane....and of course, our very own and Connie's all time favorite, The Discount Heroes!!
Paintings and Prints will be for sale.
All proceeds will benefit the National Brain Tumor Society.
About Connies Ric Rac
Connie's Ric Rac is an event venue located at The 9th Street Italian Market in South Philadelphia, presenting local and regional music, comedy and performing arts. The Ric Rac has been a mainstay in the Philly scene since it's inception in 2006. It's underground, DIY atmosphere has drawn the likes of prominent Philadelphia artists such as Amos Lee and Dead Milkmen, as well as national act comedians Hannibal Burress (SNL, 30 Rock) and Matt Besser (Upright Citizens Brigade).