Artist distressed by Cal U's offer for windows
A retired art professor who was commissioned to make eight stained glass windows for California University of Pennsylvania said she was disappointed to learn on Friday that the school doesn't want the four unfinished panels.
Dr. Leslie Parkinson was offered $17,000 each — less than the initial $20,000 offered — for the four windows that are finished, she said after a meeting with Robert Thorn, vice president for Administration and Finance. The university does not want the four that are incomplete, she said.
“I never expected it to take this kind of a turn,” she said. “(Thorn) just came out and said, ‘We don't want the other four.' I'm really hurt by it.”
Thorn did not return a call for comment.
Parkinson, 73, said she tears up when she thinks about the years she has spent cutting, grinding and assembling pieces for the intricate windows. She considers them a way to leave her mark on the Washington County campus where she taught for nearly three decades, she said.
The $160,000 handshake deal for eight windows each fell apart when former President Angelo Armenti Jr. was fired in May.
Thorn did not indicate whether the four completed windows, which Parkinson is storing in her house, would be displayed, Parkinson said.
“There goes what I was thinking would be my legacy to the university,” Parkinson said.
Parkinson has said she is in debt because the university has paid her just $10,000 of the $160,000 Armenti promised. She said she incurred the debt buying the glass and other materials for the 9-foot-high windows that were to be hung in Cal U's administration building.“I was so proud,” Parkinson said. “And for them to consider them nothing ... it's like I didn't count for anything.”
Parkinson said she will take time to consider the offer. Her other options are to sell the windows or keep them for her home, she said.
University spokeswoman Christine Kindl previously told the Tribune-Review that Armenti “acted wholly without authority and without funding” in commissioning the windows.
“The university has made a good-faith offer to Ms. Parkinson for the work she has completed. We are still hoping to reach an agreement,” Kindl said in an email.
She declined further comment on the offer, calling it a “legal matter.”
Last week, Armenti defended his original agreement with Parkinson. He told the Tribune-Review that Cal U's official mission statement and Act 188, a law governing how the 14 commonwealth-run universities function, gave him the authority to commission the windows.
Through his attorney, Steve Toprani, Armenti declined to comment on the offer made to Parkinson.
Amanda Dolasinski is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-836-6220 or email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Comeau’s hat trick leads Penguins; Crosby reaches career points
- Steelers’ backups Archer, Harris ready to run
- Fatal crash closes Flight 93 chapel in Somerset County
- Pitt plays best game of the season; routs Kansas State
- Pregnant woman struck by van in North Side dies; doctors save baby
- Steelers notebook: Roethlisberger says Saints game is ‘must win’
- Starkey: Rutherford will add when timing’s right
- Police on hunt for suspects in unrelated Penn Township, Manor cases
- PIT wants non-passengers allowed past security to shop
- Pirates notebook: Autographs to come at a cost at PirateFest
- Penguins notebook: Bennett to miss about 2 weeks