Traveling exhibit to showcase lost mural of Ellis Island

Published 10:56 am Friday, April 26, 2019

Artist Andrew Sabori, creator of the Ellis Island mural reproduction, has joined forces with local author and fellow artist Henry Intili to produce a book, The Lost Mural of Ellis Island. It explains the history of Ellis Island while answering questions about the mural itself.

Sabori’s mural representation has traveled throughout the U.S. and the Bainbridge Arts Center is excited to showcase it in an exhibit that opens Thursday, May 2, with a free public reception beginning at 6 p.m.

The Bainbridge Arts community welcomed artist Sabori and his wife Roberta last summer after they came for a meeting with Phyllis Lucas and Mike Inlow at the Firehouse Arts Center. They had come to discuss bringing his educational traveling exhibit titled “Coming to America—The Immigrant Experience,” to the Arts Center. It is based on a lost mural from Ellis Island he accidentally discovered when he and his wife went to find information concerning his ancestors who immigrated through Ellis Island from Sicily.

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The couple decided to move to Bainbridge from Lakeland, Ga., where he was restoring the Milltown city murals.

The subject mural was a WPA project that once hung inside the dining hall at Ellis Island. Titled “The Role of the Immigrant in the Industrial Development of America,” it was a multi-panel work created by artist Edward Laning in the mid-1930’s.

Sabori, who has worked on murals in cities from coast to coast for years, managed to find out about the mural by accident. His wife spied it in a small photo of the old cafeteria with the mural in the background. He was inspired to try to duplicate it, but he couldn’t find the original anywhere.

The book explains all of the details and history behind the mural and Sabori ‘s search to find it and bring it back to life in his own painting. It also tells of Sabori’s interest and education in the arts. He has an extensive history of producing advertising posters for rock stars appearing along the east and west coasts, as well as in between. He has a large album of pencil drawings and paintings of musicians and celebrities from the entertainment world.

The sensational exhibit has sparked other local events in connection with the visit. On Thursday, May 16 at 6 p.m. a one-act play titled, “Stopping at Ellis Island” by T. Hischak, and directed by Intili, will be performed at the Firehouse Arts Center by actors from the Bainbridge Little Theatre.

The evening also offers a “Creative Conversation” between Andrew Sabori and James McSweeney of the National Archives.

The book will be on display and copies may be ordered anytime during the exhibit that runs through May 26. Friday and Sunday hours are 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.