My Italian grandfather had been a highly successful marble sculptor in New York, producing statury and architectural elements–columns, capitals, cornices, etc–that are still visible all over the city. Is it genetic? I never knew him, as he died long before I was born, and any artistic impulse jumped a generation the way this sort of thing so frequently does. My father had no artistic ability or desire of any kind. My grandfather was also deeply into opera and Italian culture in general. His legacy has been bedrock in my life. I so wish he could have known me and my career. We would have been great friends.
who knows where our talents come from? as one of five girls, growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in a city deprived of any major arts and cultural influence, nevertheless we all were endowed and have pursue(d) artistic endeavours thru our lives – in all forms – theatre, literature, painting, music and dance.
still, its interesting to wonder why we each have our own interests – mine was/is music (piano, singing) and theatre and dance (ballet) other sisters are artists and writers and performers/directors. certainly BR did not have much in the way of major artists – and not a lot of performances/events to attend.
i guess it was mainly the teachers we encountered at our school – a private catholic all girls school administered by incredibly gifted and instinctive nuns and lay teachers. my eyes and ears were opened not by the nun i studied piano with (actually i was far too advanced for her but thats another story) but by the choral director – a Jean Brodie character. high school is a tumultuous time as it is and she created more drama and excitement still. it was a crazy time.