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Lighting Executive Supports Cal Poly Development Drive

Press release from the issuing company

San Luis Obispo - Denis Rizzo, an executive with Las Vegas-based LongLite US, acquired two of the 59 paintings gifted to Cal Poly as part of a Armstrong/Waters Endowment to support graphic communication education at the university. Cal Poly is home to one of the largest graphic communication programs in the United States, supporting the printing, publishing, packaging and digital imaging industries.
Well-known Northern California artist and humanitarian Duane Armstrong and his wife Annie recently donated 59 oil paintings with an appraised value greater than $1.7 million. The gift was arranged by Cal Poly alumnae Pat Waters.
“Rizzo’s acquisition is an investment in education,” said Harvey Levenson, head of Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication Development Program. The support advances Graphic Communication education at both academic and professional levels.
The academic program funds student scholarships, professional faculty development, lab expansion and maintenance, special lectures and joint projects between students and faculty.
At the professional level, the Armstrong/Waters Endowment ensures continuing education and applied research through the Graphic Communication Institute at Cal Poly. The Institute is actively engaged in industry research, testing, product evaluation, and in-plant testing, and conducts seminars, workshops and conferences for working professionals.
Rizzo said, “The opportunity and memory of spending an entire day with both Annie and Duane Armstrong will not be forgotten. I now own two works of art that will remain in my family for many years to come. This was the top art buying experience of my life. The proceeds are for the purest cause -- benefiting Cal Poly’s Graphic Communication program. No commercial gallery sale can match this experience. I would recommend this type of purchase to any discerning art connoisseur because of what this university department is doing and offering, and the way that this transaction directly supports those efforts.”
 Armstrong is one of America’s most published painters. During the 1970s, the popularity of Armstrong’s paintings catapulted him into the top five print sales in the nation.
The donated paintings were appraised by an independent art appraiser. The values range from $6,500 to $87,000 each. Buyers will receive original certified appraisals and will be listed as Endowment Founders through named sub-endowments.
Images and descriptions of the complete collection can be viewed at: www.grc.calpoly.edu/armstrong.
For more information on the Cal Poly Armstrong collection or on acquiring or renting any of the paintings, contact Harvey Levenson at 805-756-6151 or [email protected].