PITTSTON — Kevin McGroarty achieved room temperature when he died on July 22, 2014 at the age of 53, so he wrote in his obituary.
The funnyman and artist has been gone for almost two years, but his legacy will continue to live on through an exhibit of his artwork in the John P. Cosgrove Center at the Pittston Memorial Library.
The exhibit is sponsored by Luzerne County Community College (LCCC), where McGroarty was a 1982 alumnus as well as an adjunct advertising instructor from 2005 to 2009.
It will feature of 25 different pieces of work from McGroarty and will be open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, March 5 and then during normal library hours until Saturday, March 12.
Perhaps now known best for his self-written obituary, McGroarty’s career in advertising began in 1983 when he became a founding partner of Pyramid Advertising and then a principal owner of Rhino Media until 2008.
McGroarty also ran a freelance graphic design business called Guns for Hire in West Pittston.
Executive Director of the LCCC Foundation Sandy Nicholas said it was only fitting to hold the exhibit somewhere in the Greater Pittston area as McGroarty was born and raised in Wyoming.
“It’s in his backyard there and he’s a native son there, so we thought there would be more interest from his friends and business people who knew him,” she said. “The library is more accessible to the public and we’re tying it into the St. Patrick’s Parade because we thought we would get more people to come in and walk around.”
Pittston Memorial Library Director Patricia Joyce said she’s thrilled to hold the exhibit at the library.
“I think it’s fantastic,” she said. “I admire his work, his humor and personality and things he did for the community. I think its awesome, and it’ll be great.”
The exhibit is free, but donations will be accepted and the proceeds will go towards starting a scholarship in McGroarty’s honor called “The Kevin J. McGroarty Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad Communication Arts Scholarship.”
It will be available for LCCC students pursuing degrees in the communication arts majors, including advertising/graphic design, audio/video communications, computer graphics/new media, journalism and media writing, and music recording technology.
Information on how to donate money towards the scholarship will be available at the exhibit, and whatever money is raised will determine the scholarship amount.
Laura Katrenicz, Special Assistant to President for Policy & Staff Development, was a good friend of McGroarty’s and spearheaded the campaign for the scholarship.
“I knew Kevin for (over 25) years,” she said. “We had mutual friends and we traveled in the same crowd, but maybe a year or six months before he died we renewed our friendship. We both love The Beatles and that’s how we got reconnected.”
Katrenicz said McGroarty not only touched the lives of everyone at LCCC and Greater Pittston, but just about everyone he came into contact with.
“We wanted to do this because Kevin was such an outstanding person and had such a kind heart,” she said. “He also was so incredibly talented that we wanted to both honor him and share his creative genius with the whole community.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher