Siena Gillann Porta
The imagery in my artwork , painting, sculpture or installation is predominately theme-driven. Zen practice has shaped and informed my work for most of my adult life. More recently the art of Shukokai Karate has become a part of this narrative. 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.
The mechanics of anatomy and bodies in motion has always been a passionate interest of mine. Dancing and performing in a mime and ballet troupe and studying at The Martha Graham School in New York as a teenager developed my appreciation for the human body as an instrument of expression. In graduate school I was fortunate to be able to draw from cadavers at Hershey Medical College which advanced my academic understanding of body mechanics as an artist.
Utilizing contemporary media is an essential part of my vision. Access to new materials and technology while working as a Scenic Artist (USA 829) significantly enlarged my media repertoire.
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
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, Paul Gianfagna and Sylvia Stone. Siena was awarded a Full Graduate Fellowship at The Pennsylvania State University, and received an MFA in Sculpture. Currently her work is represented by 14 Sculptors Gallery Inc. NY, NY, The New York Society of Women Artists and The National Association of Women Artists.
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, the greater metropolitan area and U.S. national parks. Her university exhibitions include Notre Dame, Lehigh, Adelphi, the New Jersey City University, Manhattanville, Fairleigh Dickinson and NYU. Siena’s public collections include The City of Hveragerdi, Iceland, The Agricultural University of Iceland, St. Philip R.C. Church, Norwalk CT, RAA at Jacob Riis National Park Ft. Tilden, The County of Rockland, NY and The Hafnarborg Cultural Museum, Iceland.
As a Scenic Artist and Lead Scenic Artist since 1986, she created work for numerous Broadway productions, Feature films, Prime-time network television, Netflix and The Metropolitan Opera. She taught as both an Adjunct Professor of Art and of Contemporary Art at St. Thomas Aquinas College, Bergen Community College and Ramapo College, NJ.
Her biography is listed, among others, in Who's Who in America. She has received grants from The New York Foundation for the Arts, The United States Information Agency and The New York State Council on the Arts. Solo exhibitions include 14 Sculptors Gallery, Mercer St., NY and Noho Gallery W. 25th St., NY. Porta has been an Artist in Residence at Brisons Veor in Cornwall, England and Artist in Residence twice at Varmahlid Haus in Hveragerdi, Iceland.
Reviews include The NY Times, The Wave, Gallery & Studio Magazine, Newsday, Spotlight Magazine, The New York Art Review, The Journal News and Women Artist’s News. Recent exhibitions include The Hammond Museum, Blue Mountain Gallery, NY, NY, Amherst College - Hampden Gallery, Prince Street Gallery, NY, NY The Akin Museum, Rockaway National Park, St Peters Church, E. 54th Street, NY, Highbridge Park Manhattan, NY, The Howland Center in Beacon, Barrett Art Center, Poughkeepsie NY, The Zerillo - Marimo Gallery at NYU, Fairleigh Dickinson University and Governors Island.