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Holladay Journal

Holladay Artist of the Month Anna Siciliano shares title with her late mother, Barbara Siciliano

Nov 24, 2020 01:32PM ● By Sona Schmidt-Harris

Anna Siciliano paints her favorite subject, a horse. (Photo courtesy of Anna Siciliano)

By Sona Schmidt-Harris | [email protected]

Mother and daughter Barbara and Anna Siciliano shared more than just a home in Holladay. They also share the December Holladay Artist of the Month title.

Barbara lived in Holladay for 58 years and passed away in 2018. Anna inherited her mother’s home and now spends her time between Holladay and Huntsville.

A true Holladayite, Anna attended Crestview Elementary, Olympus Junior High School and Olympus High School.

Known primarily for her paintings of animals, Anna said, “I love the use of color and try to paint the soul of the animal. I photograph animals in Utah and Wyoming and try to use my photos when possible.”  

She grew up in her Italian-American home surrounded by the sound of opera and the smell of her mother’s oil paint. Barbara encouraged Anna to critique her paintings, so Anna became an artist and art critic at a young age.

Anna loved showing her paintings alongside her mother, Barbara Siciliano, at Siciliano Art Boutiques in Salt Lake City.

While in college, Anna took art classes but did not major in art. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Communication Disorders and a Master of Arts in Speech Pathology.

Later, she studied Impressionism while living in Houston, Texas and has studied the old masters’ style of oil painting since moving back to Utah in 1997. Currently, Anna studies with master teacher Sheila Woods and is also studying online with the Milan Art Institute in Athens, Georgia.

Anna is particularly fond of horses. “Riding my horses in the mountains of Utah gives me a sense of freedom,” she said. “The horse represents strength, beauty, freedom and movement.”

“The Look Out” is a wonderful example of Anna’s love of horses. It embodies strength and musculature, movement in her subject’s mane, and both sensitivity and majesty in the eyes of the horse.

Another painting of a horse has a smattering of paint in the background enhancing the motion aspect of her subject. The eyes, however, remain sensitive and somewhat focused on its beholder.  

Other paintings of Anna’s include “King of the Mountain” (a mountain goat), “Don’t Eat the Daisies” (a sensitive-looking cow gazes directly at its observer with a daisy in its mouth), a child with those ever-present, poignant eyes in her subjects, and also a rare still life, “Citrus” that in Anna’s hands exudes more of “life” than the “still” aspect of the genre.

Co-Artist of the Month, Barbara Siciliano, painted scenes of her Italian roots including Venice.

Born in Salt Lake City, Barbara Mary Oliver attended St. Mary's of the Wasatch Catholic High School and later Stevens-Henager College. 

“Barbara was a volunteer art teacher at Olympus Junior High. Her paintings were on display at Olympus High School when her children attended school there,” Anna said. “In her later years, her paintings were shown at the Holladay City Art Shows.”


 

Barbara began painting in her 20s and took classes from local art teachers including Clyde Smith. “Her style was unique, and her early work was mainly landscapes and florals,” Anna said.

With a shared love of photography, Barbara and her husband Joe took pictures of barns, mountains and landscapes in the Tetons and Utah.

“Barbara's favorite medium was oil painting, but she was also prolific at watercolor, glass painting and acrylics on fabric,” Anna said. Additionally, Barbara made jewelry.

“The Master's Touch,” a business founded by Barbara, paid homage to spiritual gifts, one of which she believed was her artistic ability. 

“Joe and Barbara had five daughters. Barbara was a stay-at-home mom, and she devoted her time to her children, her husband and her community,” Anna said. “Barbara encouraged her sister Madalene and her daughters in their artistic endeavors. She loved to create beauty, and she was most at peace while painting in her art room and listening to classical music with her husband Joe.” 

Anna and the late Barbara Siciliano’s works will be on display at City Hall in the main foyer throughout December at 4580 S. 2300 East.  

If you would like to learn more about Anna’s art, visit her website at annasiciliano.net.  

If you would like to nominate a Holladay resident for Artist of the Month, please visit holladayarts.org/suggest-an-artist.

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