HOLLIS SIGLER, 1948-2001

Hollis Sigler, who was born in 1948 in Gary, Indiana, died March 29, 2001, in Prairie View, Illinois. An openly lesbian artist, Sigler received the distinguished artist award for lifetime achievement from the College Art Association just one month before she died. She made her home in the Chicago area from 1970 and, beginning in 1978, taught at Columbia College, Chicago, for over twenty years.

She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from Moore College of Art (1970) and a Master of Fine Arts degree from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1973). Moore acknowledged her work with an honorary doctorate in 1994.

She received grants from the National Endowment for the Arts (1987), the Illinois Arts Council (1986), and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (1973) and numerous awards including the Sidney R. Yates Arts Advocacy Award (1998).

She had solo exhibitions at the Elvehjem Museum of Art (Madison, Wis., 1997), the Fort Wayne Museum of Art (1995), the Museum of Contemporary Art (Chicago, 1994), the National Museum of Women in the Arts (1993), the Akron Art Museum (1984), and elsewhere.

Hollis Sigler was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1985, a disease from which her mother and great-grandmother died. After the cancer reappeared in 1991, she used her struggles with the disease as the subject of her work.

She was featured in “Paint Me a Future,” a documentary film about art therapy produced by Dr. David Kaminisky, Palm Springs, CA (1999). A major book, Hollis Sigler's breast cancer journal, texts by Susan M. Love, M.D. and James Yood, was published by Hudson Hills in 1999.

She is survived by jewelry designer Patricia Locke, her partner of twenty-one years.

Tee A. Corinne

(A notice of her Distinguished Artist Award for Lifetime Achievement appeared in CAA news, Mar. 2001. An obituary by Holland Cotter appeared in the New York times on Apr. 3, 2001.)

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