Siena Gillann Porta



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Much of the artwork I have made is theme driven. Certainly my Zen practice has shaped my work over decades, as the art of Shukokai Karate has more recently.

Media of all kinds fascinate me. We are living at a time when access to information, processes and new materials has exploded. For me, the craft that sustains an image of any kind in conjunction with the media, is an essential part of my vision. Drawing and painting processes have been fundamental to both my personal art-work and my tenure as a scenic artist, painting backdrops and scenery.

An understanding of the mechanics of anatomy and bodies in motion is a deep interest of mine. I was fortunate to be able to draw from cadavers at Hershey Medical School through a grant from a Pennsylvania Arts Council.

Having survived breast cancer in 2010 brought karate images more prominently into my body of work because I became a practitioner myself, earning a black belt in 2016.

I always fall in love with my newest work and hope that it communicates powerfully to others. At its best I find creating artwork is discovery, sometimes frustration and always a place where linear time stops.



SIENA GILLANN PORTA attended the Art Students League at 15, and then the School of Visual Arts and the New School in New York City. She earned a BS in Studio Arts from Brooklyn College, CUNY while studying with Philip Pearlstein, Lee Bonticou, Lennart Anderson and Sylvia Stone. Siena was awarded a Full Graduate Fellowship at The Pennsylvania State University, and received an MFA in Sculpture in 1978.

Porta has exhibited extensively in solo and group exhibitions throughout the U.S. and abroad at galleries and museums, with installations in New York City and U.S. National Parks. Her university exhibitions include Notre Dame, Lehigh, the New Jersey City University and NYU. Siena’s public collections include The City of Hveragerdi, Iceland, The Hafnarborg Cultural Museum, Jacob Riis National Park at Ft. Tilden, The County of Rockland, NY, and the Agricultural University of Iceland.

SIENA GILLANN PORTA has been a scenic artist and Lead Scenic Artist since 1986 and has created work for numerous Broadway productions, Feature films, prime-time televisionshows and The Metropolitan Opera. She was also an Adjunct Professor of Art at St. Thomas Aquinas College, Bergen Community College and Ramapo College.

Her biography is listed in Who's Who in American Art and Who's Who in America. She has received grants from The New York Foundation for the Arts, The New York State Council on the Arts and The United States Information Agency. Siena’s Art Residencies include Brisons Veor in Cornwall, England  and Varmahlid Haus in Iceland.

Recent exhibitions include The Hammond Museum Amherst College The Akin Museum, Rockaway National Park and NYU.


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