I spent a lot of time over the holidays, rifling through old family photos and thinking about my own family’s art history. I grew up in an art-centric household and was heavily encouraged to pursue a career in the arts, while many of my peers where dissuaded.

I very clearly remember discussing with my parents, the idea of applying to liberal arts schools, and minoring in art instead of majoring, so that I’d have a better chance of being “successful”. My parents basically crushed that idea and suggested I focus on what I was passionate about; rather than a back up plan that might give me a chance at being monetarily accomplished. I’m very thankful for their encouragement and don’t think I could have grown up in a better environment.

Both of my parents went to art school; my father in Switzerland & my mother, just around the corner from where I live now, Pratt. Each of them come from families with creative backgrounds and were similarly encouraged to focus on their interests.

Here are the fruits of my riflings; a small tour of my personal art history.

My father’s parents, Aurelio & Ida.

Ida was an amazing seamstress. I have lots of fond memories of watching her sew and sewing with her. Her daughter, my Aunt Vanna studied Fashion in Switzerland. When I was younger I remember stumbling across her fashion sketches in my nona’s apartment. They were amazing and definitely inspired me to want to know more about fashion and fashion illustration.

This is a cubist portrait of my nono, painted by Libico Maraja.

Another portrait by Libico, of a close friend of my grandparents.

My maternal grandfather, Bennett, my mother, Wendy, her sisters Kim & Pam & my nana, Eleanor.

My grandmother, was & still is quite the fashionista. I remember helping her into this fabulous sailor-halter-jumpsuit when she was in her 60’s. She was stunning.

My nana also encouraged me as far as painting, drawing & cultural arts were concerned. Her house is full of art and very interesting art books. She also paints though more as a hobby.

My mother majored in photography. I found this etching of Woody Allen on top of some of her slides while I was snooping. I though it was cool.

I love this photo she took of my father.

This is a photograph taken by our close family friend, Sandy Rosenberg, she and my mother met while my mom was in school. My mother’s Pratt friends were a huge creative influence during my childhood.

This is one of my mother’s photographs from her school days. I love the kid sitting on ped/cross light. I’ll do a post of her photos soon, when I have time to scan them properly. She is very talented.

I previously posted my father’s wood work, but wanted to share a few shots of his amulets. Growing up these were referred to as “No Touch Things”.

This photo of my mom’s jade tree might seem slightly off topic, but I think it’s a work of art and another testament to my mother’s ability to nurture.
Finally, here’s me, barely walking and already being encouraged to draw.