However, at this time he also became "confused", as he put it, and his bipolar disorder manifested. Unable to keep up a steady pace of work, he nevertheless taught art at the Illinois Institute of Technology and exhibited with the Chicago Imagists at the Hyde Park Art Center.
Campoli was given a major career retrospective at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art in 1971.
He was popular in his home neighborhood of Hyde Park, even having a dish, "Pasta Campoli" named after him at a local Thai restaurant. His bronze sculpture, "Bird of Peace", can be seen near the Murray School in Nichols Park in Hyde Park.
Campoli grew up on an Indiana farm near the Illinois border and was from an early age what what would later be called an "action" sculptor, literally infusing energy and life into each piece, mainly in clay at an early age. After art schooling he taught at the School of Design at ITT Technical Institute where he influenced many subsequent artists. His interest was in organic, nurturing, rounded "yen" forms, particularly portraying the spirit of birds, other animals, eggs largely in bronze, clay or stone, or else multi-material objects such as abstracted birdbaths. Most of his extant works are in private collections. Also, he lived for beauty, life and light and paid perhaps inadequate attention to the gallery-and-school "validation" system, marketing, or moving to Lincoln Park, New York or the West Coast. His work was at the Alan Frumkin Galleries, though. Although there was some recognition of his work in retrospective survey at Chicago's Museum of Contemporary Art, Cosmo is one of a great many superior modern artists who have fallen between the art-critical cracks and been largely forgotten.
John M. Grzywacz said this about Campoli: "He was a really remarkable man if you were open to a vital life. I took a class with him at the ID in 1955... I remember a project we were to make something sculptural out of found materials... I went searching the streets and came back with pocketfulls of broken glass. I melted the glass in a ladle with an acetalyn torch... after much experimentation I managed to salvage a piece after improvising a cooling system... still the piece was in the ladle... Cosmo looked into my little set up often... In frustration I tried to tap the sculpture out of the ladle. Unfortunately it broke... Cosmo didn't say anything until I got into the class room for the crit... he explained to the class what a dummy I was... not accepting the ladle as part of the piece. It was an important lesson for an 18 year old. I also remember his edible sculpture process which I discovered when I visited the school in 1972."