On the Cover

On the Cover: Pilar Pobil

By Polly Mottonen

Was it 14 years ago? Pilar called the Catalyst office asking for the person in charge of selecting cover art. I asked her to submit some slides (this was the olden days before digital files) and I would consider them. “Oh, no,” she said, “you must come to my house. It is full of art. You will see.”
Of course she was right. Pilar’s home is a living thing. Every inch of it seeped in the deep wild colors of Pilar’s experiences in Spain, Mexico and Salt Lake. Paintings of exotic women and landscapes hang beside luscious interpretations of City Creek Canyon and tongue-in-cheek “Suburbanites”. She quickly became our “cover girl” and dear friend.
You have two golden opportunities to bring a little Pilar into your life this summer. Visit her exhibit: “My Burial Chamber: a Celebration of Life” at the Utah Cultural Celebration Center, 1355 W 3500 S, (www.culturalcelebration.org) running August 10-September 26.  Also, pick up her book My Kitchen Table — Sketches from my Life fresh off the University of Utah Press As is Pilar’s style, we are graciously welcomed into her world, past and present. It is simply a treasure.         —PM

Excerpt from the forward of “My Kitchen Table Sketches from my Life” by Pilar Pobil
Like her paintings, Pilar’s stories overflow their pages. They fold us into their embrace, so we feel and see her dancing in and out of our minds, a curious and mischievous child, a young woman in love coming to a foreign land with a foreign culture and tongue, experiencing the heartbreak of her loses and the continual renewals that have ripened her art.
She paints her shoes for social engagements. The seats of her chairs beam faces. Her electrical wiring metamorphoses into fantastic snakes. The garden that leads to her studio is Salt Lake City’s Giverny. Paintings are everywhere and talk to each other with glittering voices and visions of her life. The subtleties of her telling, like the bold clarity of her judgments, are those of an artist whose inspiration is a feast she graciously invites us to share.
Robert Newman, Dean, College of Humanities, U of U

This article was originally published on June 29, 2007.