Edward Christiana, Mt. Rainer National Park

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Edward Christiana, Mt. Rainer National Park

Edward Christiana, American Artist

Mt. Rainer National Park, Washington, 1972

20×30 in., Watercolor
$4,450  Framed

Painter and art teacher Edward Christiana died 10 years ago, but his work continues to inspire. The Utica native introduced painting to those of all ages through school programs, local hospitals and community centers, said Tony Spiridigloizzi, president of Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. “He advanced the appreciation and enjoyment of the arts all across the area,” he said. To honor what would have been his 100th year, Christiana’s family put together a gallery of his work showcasing his career. An opening reception will kick off the month-long show from 4 to 7 p.m. Friday at the Utica Public Library. “The Edward Christiana Centennial Show” will be on display through June 26. Some of his paintings also will be for sale.

Library Director Darby O’Brien said she’s glad the family chose the library. “It’s an honor for us to be able to exhibit his work,” she said. Having the gallery in the library will give an opportunity to those who may not be familiar with his work to see it, O’Brien said. As an award-winning artist, Christiana primarily worked in watercolor. He then switched to oil paint before going back to watercolor, Spiridigloizzi said. His legacy is in more than just art, however. Christiana is described as one of the keystone faculty members since he started teaching at the arts institute in the early 1940s, Spiridigloizzi said. “He helped shape that school from the start,” he said. “Along with William Palmer (the school’s first director), they really developed that program. They turned it into a professional art school.”The family decided to display the artwork not only as a tribute to their father, but to the community, said his daughter Kim Domenico. “I feel like he really belongs to us all of us,” she said. “An artist gives their art to the community.”
She described her father as having a very great, rich life that touched many others. “He did what he loved to do every single day. Not everybody can say that,” she said. “I just think it’s really important to the community to remember people who we can all be proud of.”

Edward Christiana, Mt. Rainer National Park
Edward Christiana, Mt. Rainer National Park
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