Ann Fucich, who is my Aunt Ann, and who we affectionately call Teta (Slovenian) Annie, was my earliest artistic influence and instructor. I would spend my entire summer vacation at my grandparents home in Astoria in Queens, New York, and this enabled Teta Annie and I, who lived nearby, to spend a lot of time together. For example, art projects were always a large part of our time spent with each other. Also, she was always encouraging me to create art even when I was home in Connecticut and we talked on the phone. These experiences with her helped to shape my artistic interests as a young child. Because of this, I have only warm, loving memories of my earliest, and most beloved art teacher and mentor, Ann Fucich.
Beloved Art Teacher Ann Fucich History
Teta Annie’s history (and mine) reaches back to Kuzelj, Austria. Ann was born on October 28th, 1917 as Ann Saganich and died on May 3rd, 2014 at the age of 97. Teta Annie had five siblings, and her sister Elizabeth was my grandmother. Later, her first true love, Joe Fucich, married Ann. I would describe Ann’s painting style as very similar to Grandma Moses.
Joe Fucich loved the ocean, and I was told that he served as a mariner when he was a young man. Therefore, inspired by his love of the ocean, Joe created maritime scenes alongside Ann, and a few of those early works continue to exist in the family collection.
Teta Annie often took my brother and me into Manhattan to visit art museums or sit in parks with a case full of drawing supplies. As a result, we had many outings to the Museum of Natural History where we would spend hours at the bird exhibit drawing and sketching. Afterwards, we would go back to Teta Annie’s apartment in Queens and draw or paint. Teta Annie would paint alongside my brother and me, giving us guidance as needed until we became comfortable expressing ourselves in our own paintings.
Teta Annie created many detailed paintings in acrylic and oil during her lifetime. Also, she created a large picture of my childhood home in Wallingford, Connecticut, and 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.
Outstanding Paintings by Ann Fucich
I feel that I owe much to Teta Annie. Below are pictures of her with my family shortly before she passed away. Therefore, this post is in memory of my beloved art teacher and mentor Ann Fucich.