Albert Parella (1909-1999)

Albert Lucian Parella (A.W.S.)
Born March 21, 1909
Died May 10, 1999
Married November 2, 1942

Hanging over my living room mantel is a magnificent watercolor painting by the artist Al Parella. It is a view of Poland’s House of the Seven Gables. Everyday I am reminded of the artistic ability of this talented painter who chose to be a part of Poland and to paint scenes of local interest. I found Al to be a friendly neighbor who, when walking his dog, would stop and talk. One day, a long time ago, I introduced him to my daughter who was then attending an art school in Rochester, New York. He took time to look at her artwork and then encouraged her to continue painting. He later gave her one of his colorful watercolor paintings of several clowns. Today she has this painting hanging in her living room.

Al and his wife, Marjorie Iman, are both gone now. Marjorie died in 2004 and was buried next to Al in the Riverside Cemetery near the entrance. Their daughter, Susan, is presently volunteering at the Poland Library’s used book store. When you are in the library, look on the walls. On the upper level you will see fourteen of Albert Parella’s bird paintings. Then go downstairs and you will see five more. There are a total of 30 pieces of Al’s artwork on display. Prints of his well-known winter painting of the old library building may be purchased at the used book store. The original is on display behind the check-out counter. On the reference shelves in the library are issues of old Poland phone directories that go back to 1966. These directories were once distributed every year by the Volunteer Fire Department. On nine of these old directory covers are some of Albert Parella’s finest watercolor paintings.

Al Parella started his career by graduating from the Cleveland School of Art in 1932. He entered the U.S. Air Force as a graphic artist and assisted in producing training aids. He was also a camouflage expert. Returning from military service Al taught commercial art at the Butler Institute of American Art and classes in advertising at Youngstown University. He went on to be the art director of WKBN-TV here in Youngstown for 25 years.

Mr. Parella showed his paintings in all national shows and won several important awards. His work has hung in over 100 galleries and museums. Today many private art collections include his watercolors. This local artist who spent over 50 years here in Poland will never be forgotten.