ARTIST OF THE MONTH, JUNE 2021
Maria Offidani ~ An Artist’s Life Well Lived”
July 3, 1922 – November 16, 2018
Maria Offidani was highly thought of among the members of the Palo Verde Artists. Her art was not only beautiful and well done but valued among her peers and those beyond the club. We, at Palo Verde Artists, wanted to honor her in the best way possible way.
Jo Peterson of Palo Verde Artists and Artists by the Lake researched and put all of Maria’s information together.
Maria was born in San Elpidio a’ Mare, Italy, a little town east of Florence near the Adriatic Sea. Her father a shoemaker, while her mother ran a restaurant. During World War II, Maria engaged, watched her sweetheart go to war but unfortunately, he did not come home. At the end of the war in Europe, the allies redrew national boundaries. Maria and her family left their home with 20,000 other people and traveled on railroad trains to an international refugee camp in Naples, Italy.
In 1952, Maria, then thirty, her parents, and her brother immigrated to New York under the Displaced Persons Act of 1948. They had just $2.00 in their pockets. Maria proudly said she took a job as a seamstress and was paying taxes within a week. It was at this time she had to sell her wedding dress to buy food for her family. Maria and her family moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, but she continued to work in New York City. Maria studied accounting and worked for Diners Club for 20 years; also taking art classes after work.
In the early 1990s, Maria retired and moved to Sun City. In 1995 she became a member of the Palo Verde Art Club and the Artists by the Lake Club. Maria primarily worked in watercolor and acrylic mediums. She took classes and exhibited at many club gallery shows, including the All Sun City Art Show and the Palo Verde Annual Show in the Spring, winning many ribbons. Maria often took the time to help her friends and neighbors with their watercolors.
Her family called her “Mimi,” and her friends at the Prairie King Condo neighborhood called her their “artist in residence.” Maria lived to be 96 years old. Her fellow club members, friends, and neighbors admired her, and she was known as a talented, hardworking artist and teacher. She is missed.