“I was saddened to hear the news that Connie Smith Siegel died on Tuesday, August 4th.

When I think of ‘Valley art’ usually the first image that pops into my mind is the work of Connie.

It’s not just because she did landscapes, plein aire pastels of Marin environs. Beyond her chosen form of expression and subject matter she exemplified the artist committed to place. She was dedicated to the nurturing of the arts within the community and was one of those individuals who made it possible for all of us to hold that collective self-image.

Working in association with Connie on her solo shows and some group shows was an education for me. When it came to putting together one her shows Connie was persistent, gently unrelenting, in working towards the very best presentation of the artwork– -that meant getting the lighting just right, working out the relationships between pieces and the overall harmony of the room. She always had a clear sense of what she wanted and how the work should look.

Connie was absolutely dedicated to her work—and to the fostering of an artist’s community in the Valley. She supported the art shows, attended the openings and was an enthusiastic ‘regular’ at our monthly artists film night (she once told me that she regarded the film series as a “master class” on the arts).

Connie participated in an uncountable number of solo and group shows at the Center over the years. She also exhibited at Dominican College, Marin Art Festival, the Dance Palace, William Sawyer Gallery and John F. Kennedy University among other venues. Her work is in the permanent collections of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts, Palace of the Legion of Honor in San Francisco, Hastings College of the Law and the Oakland Museum.

Over the many years she taught in formal settings such as the University of Colorado and California Institute of Integral Studies as well as from her home studio. Connie authored three books: Spirit of Drawing, Spirit of Color and The Healing Spirit of Drawing and Color. That recurring word–spirit—seems most appropriate. Connie will be missed.”

Larry Rippee