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Ann Fucich, Beloved Art Teacher and Mentor

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Ann Fucich, who is my Aunt Ann, and who we affectionately call Teti Ann, was my earliest artistic influence and instructor. Because I would spend my entire school summer vacation at my grandparents home in Astoria in Queens, New York, this enabled Teti Ann, who lived nearby, and I to spend a lot of time together. Art projects were always a part of our visits with each other. She was always encouraging me to create art. This helped to shape my artistic talents as a young child.

Teti Ann's history (and mine) reaches back to Kuzelj, Austria. Ann was born on October 28th, 1917 as Ann Saganitch and died on May 3rd, 2014. Teti Ann had five siblings and her sister Elizabeth was my grandmother. She married Joe Fucich and it was during this time that she created many works of art. I would describe her style as very similar to Grandma Moses.

Acrylic painting by Ann Fucich, Winter Scene with deer crossing a stream
Acrylic on Paper
Ann Fucich
1973

Joe Fucich loved the ocean and sailing ships. He actually served as a mariner on some of the old sailing ships when he was a young man. Joe created maritime scenes using acrylics and paper. Some of those early works still exist in the family collection.

Acrylic painting by Joe Fucich, Maritime scene of a 3 masted cutter
Acrylic on Paper
Joe Fucich
1973
Acrylic painting by Joe Fucich, Maritime scene of a 3 masted cutter and blue sky
Acrylic on Paper
Joe Fucich
1973

Teti Ann often took my brother and I into Manhattan to visit art museums. We also had outings to the Museum of Natural History where we would spend hours at the bird exhibit drawing and sketching. Afterward, we would go back to Teti Ann's apartment in Queens and paint. Teti Ann would paint alongside my brother and I, giving us guidance as needed. Teti Ann led the way and we soon became comfortable expressing ourselves in our own paintings.

Acrylic painting by Ann Fucich, beach scene
"Busy Beach"
10 X 17 inch (25.4 x 43.2 cm)
Acrylic on Board
Ann Fucich
1977

Teti Ann created many detailed paintings in acrylic and oil. She created a large painting of my childhood home in Wallingford, Connecticut. My mother has this painting hanging in the house to this day. Other works that have remained in the family are paintings of Annie's ancestral town in Kuzelj, Austria and Joe's home in Trieste, Italy.

PAINTINGS BY ANN FUCICH

Acrylic painting by Ann Fucich, Joe's home town Trieste, Italy
"Joe's Home Town, Trieste, Italy"
12 X 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm),
Acrylic on Board,
Ann Fucich,
1974
Acrylic painting by Ann Fucich, Ann's ancestral roots in Kuzelj, Austria
"Ann's Ancestral Roots - Kuzelj, Austria"
12 X 16 inch (30.5 x 40.6 cm),
Acrylic on Board,
Ann Fucich,
1974
Acrylic painting by Ann Fucich, painting of John O'Keefe's Wallingford Connecticut Home
"Wallingford Connecticut Home"
18 x 24 inch (45.7 x 61.0 cm),
Acrylic on Board,
Ann Fucich,
1977

I feel that I owe much to Teti Ann. My lifelong love of art started with her during those trips to New York City.

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John O'Keefe Jr.
© 2007, All Rights Reserved
About the Author...
     John specializes in landscape oil painting done in a style similar to the famous Hudson River School and Victorian era artists. He also specializes in reproduction painting frames, framing supplies and Giclee prints of his landscape paintings.
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