At Home with Pilar Pobil

By Austen Diamond

A visit to Pilar’s is a rich, multi-layered feast for the senses. Color, light, music in the air and her everpresent canine companion, Casper, all greet you along with Pilar’s open arms, taking you with both hands deeper into her remarkable art cocoon.

Following her downstairs, it seems perfectly normal to be led into her carefully curated “crypt,” an art installation too heartfelt to be disassembled after its run at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center years ago. It lives on here, complete with all the vestiges of a life still being lived well. The sword of her father, an admiral in the Spanish Navy who was executed by Franco’s men in the Spanish Civil War, lies prominently down the center of a tiny coffin. Photos of family, copies of CATALYST arranged on the floor displaying the many times she has been our cover artist, memorabilia from Spain, Mexico and Utah—but mostly the art of Pilar. It is everywhere in and on this remarkable home.

Everything is painted; shoes, chairs, found objects, walls, doors. Beaded purses, beautiful earthy sculptures and wall after wall of vibrant paintings. It is a living thing, this house.

To ensure its perpetuity after Pilar passes, the Pilar Pobil Legacy Foundation was created, preserving this place and continuing her contributions to the arts through educational programs and exhibitions for the community. You can track Pilar’s events on her website.  —Polly Mottonen

This article was originally published on October 2, 2017.