DIANE SHIPLEY DECILLIS, PRINT GALLERY
Who better as a local expert on the Lebanese author, poet and artist Khalil Gibran than a local Lebanese author, poet and artist?
Diane DeCillis, who has owned the Print Gallery on Northwestern Highway since 1979, is uniquely—some would say mystically—suited to be his champion. From a staunch Lebanese American family, she grew up in the middle ground of traditions, being Americanized, but learning the traditions of her grandparents.
Art was always at her core, among her greatest loves.
According to Diane, the Print Gallery began as a simple 950-square foot storefront; today, it over five thousand square feet and employees thirteen experts on fine art reproductions, posters, gifts, and other collectibles, along with framing and matting services. It was recognized by Decor Magaize as one of the Top 100 Galleries in the U.S. in 2006 and 2007.
But back to Gibran. Best known for his writings, which include The Prophet, a book composed of 26 poetic essays—during the 1960s, The Prophet became especially popular with the American counterculture and New Age movements and remains famous to this day. What’s less known is that he began his professional career at the age of fifteen as a book illustrator, and studied art under Auguste Rodin in the early part of the Twentieth century. DeCillis, a lifelong fan of Gibran’s art, is currently negotiating to produce a series of poster-sized prints of Gibran’s work. Deeply symbolic and moving in the style of Blake and Waterhouse, Gibran’s works are rightly considered masterpieces.
Meanwhile, DeCillis’ own masterpiece is an culinary homage to her grandmother, affectionately referred to as ‘Sittu’. Her 2007 book Taffadalu; Welcome, Sit Down, Enjoy a Meal (Saturn Five Publishing) encompasses numerous healthy creations from her grandmother’s kitchen, and is punctuated by heartwarming memories and poetry which reveal her deep sensitivity to the beauties of home family—the genuine foundation of Lebanese emotional output, from Gibran to DeCillis.