In memoriam

Jun 9, 2021Members' Area, News

In conjunction with our Spring 2021 Show, PAA honors the memory of four longtime members who have died. They are Alice Chen, David Munro, Berthe Santirocco and Linda VanderBbrook Moshano. Please read our tributes to each.

Alice Chen

David Munro

Berthe Santirocco

Linda VanderBrook Moshano

Alice Chen

One of PAA’s most colorful members, Alice Chen died Oct. 25, 2020, at age 85.

Born in China, Alice was a full-time artist in addition to being an internationally recognized mycologist – ian expert on mushrooms.

She said her scientific background helped her as an artist: To paint a flower, for instance, she would examine all of its components in order to understand it thoroughly. Alice pursued traditional Asian brush painting, creating works aimed at reflecting  the vitality, spirit, and the symbolic meaning of the subjects.

A Rochester-area resident since the 1970s, Alice taught at the Memorial Art Gallery for 20 years. She volunteered annually to demonstrate her techniques at the opening celebration of PAA’s Fall Art Show & Sale.

“As a student of Alice’s beginning 20 years ago, I recall fondly how each time we arrived at class she filled the room with joy and kindness to all,” says PAA member Doug Bloom. “During each class we experienced the combination of learning the detailed botanical background of the subject, a journey through eastern culture as she shared the symbolism and importance of each plant, and her painting techniques.

“As we experience spring and the beautiful flowering trees, I recall Alice arriving at class with an armful of magnolia branches and blossoms as the subject for the evening,” Doug continues. “I believe Alice’s spirit is in those beautiful blossoms that we all enjoy. A gift to all.”

Above, Bamboo in Blue, water media color transfer technique. Right, Surge, Tsunami Inspired, Asian brush painting. Both by Alice Chen.

David Munro

David Munro, a longtime member of PAA, was born in Paris in 1927 and passed away on Nov. 19, 2019.

An industrial designer, artist, adventurer, world traveler, loving husband to his wife of 26 years, Joanne, and wonderful father, stepfather and friend, David had a silly sense of humor and always had a positive attitude and outlook. He served in the U.S. Navy and, ever the artist, he documented his adventures in words, drawings and pictures. From 1957 through 1972, David was involved in marketing, design and importing artisan handicrafts. He helped set up the U.S. Pavilion at the International Trade Fair in Kabul, Afghanistan, and establish the first Department of Industrial Design at Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok. His work and interests took him to Ceylon, South America, French Africa, Greece, Algeria, and Turkey.

David enjoyed spending time with the famed French chef, Julia Child, who was married to his uncle, Paul Child.

David thoroughly enjoyed spending time with his friends in art associations where he sold some of his work and won several awards. David painted in the style of Gauguin – always colorful, always lively, just like his personality.

At right and above, untitled images by David Munro.

Berthe Santirocco

Berthe Santirocco was born in July 1931 and died Jan. 1, 2021, from COVID-19. She was the third daughter of a French woman and Russian soldier who met in France in WWI and immigrated to the U.S. before Berthe was born, settling in Brooklyn.

Her artwork began as a child when she had to make her own paper dolls. She was encouraged by her eldest sister, Marie, an artist. Berthe eventually moved to Rochester to live with Marie and her husband, who worked at the University of Rochester Medical School. She graduated from Monroe High School and got her bachelor’s degree in political science from UR, where she met her husband, Ray Santirocco.

A longtime member of PAA, she won many awards and served as president. Her art activities were curtailed due to health issues, but she rejoined PAA in 2015 along with her daughter, Paula.

She continually sought new mediums, including copper enameling, colored pencil, pastel, watercolor, multi-media, monotype and artist ink, and took classes as long as she could. Notably, she studied with Rochester artist Steve Carpenter. She created both realistic and abstract pieces, always curious and willing to try new techniques.

“Anyone who knew Mom was familiar with her bright smile, intelligence and capability,” says Paula. “We have two bags of the ribbons she won. When she moved into assisted living, we covered her walls with her paintings and her apartment became the showpiece of the place! It is my goal to someday have a retrospective show of her fine work.”

Purple Mountain Majesties by Berthe Santirocco

My Cup of Dreams by Berthe Santirocco

Linda A. VanderBrook Moshano

“Linda attended Martha Sweeney’s painting class every Monday morning for many years,” recalls PAA member Sharon Vito. “I was fortunate to sit next to her and listen to her many stories. She had the uncanny ability to remember the names of everyone in our class plus their husbands and at times, even their children!”

Born in Sodus, NY, Linda graduated from Oswego State College in 1965 where she earned her degree in Elementary Education. After earning her master’s dgree, she became one of the original educators at Wayne Central’s progressive Freewill Elementary School. She was a teacher and administrator with the district for 35 years.

She was a devoted member of St. Maximilian Kolbe Parish – St. Mary’s of the Lake Church in Ontario, NY.

“Linda was a born organizer and planner,” says her friend Sharon. “You could see this in her paintings as they managed to capture the finest details. She spent countless hours perfecting her watercolor paintings. Linda’s artwork was inspired by images from the many trips that she took on her travels around the world with her walking group.

“She was an avid and dedicated walker. She walked every day rain or shine for over an hour.

“Linda married the love of her life, Anthony ‘Hank’ Moshano, and moved to Florida, but they returned to the Adirondack Mountains for the summer. Sadly, Linda passed away suddenly on Oct. 2, 2020, in Florida of a brain aneurism. All of us will miss her friendly, kind, and caring personality.”

We were unable to obtain any images of Linda’s art to accompany this tribute.