Bondo Wyszpolski

Artist Diane Strack: gone to the heavens

Decrease Font Size Increase Font Size Text Size Print This Page

Diane Strack with her assemblage art at last year’s “CA 101” exhibition in Redondo Beach. Photo by Kevin Cody

For Diane Strack, a fond goodbye

Artist and Hermosa Beach resident Diane Strack (b. Sept. 4, 1946) passed away May 30. Her work had been shown in venues throughout the South Bay, including ShockBoxx Gallery in Hermosa Beach and in the recent “CA 101” shows held in Redondo Beach.

“Her creativity always left her family and closest friends in awe,” said her daughter, Thembi Ramos. “She was a kind, caring, and loving mother and grandmother with a zest for life; but, she was also a lover of art and culture. This was demonstrated by her diverse library collection, travels around the world, and love of multicultural art. She (had) an incredible sense of humor until the end.

“When her grandchildren were mortified by something she said or did, I would tell them that one day they’ll hold onto the crazy grandma stories. That day has come, and they are all the better for the joy she brought them. Her colorful presence will be missed by all who knew her, but especially by her family.”

One of Diane Strack’s more memorable artworks was her collaboration on “Queendom” with Patty Grau. This immersive installation piece, with a throne on which visitors were encouraged to sit and survey their domain, was a big hit during the 2017 “CA 101” exhibition and a sensation during “Off With Their Heads” at ShockBoxx Gallery last year.

“Diane was a vivacious, sexy, and outrageous woman,” said Grau. “I loved her very much. I finally met an equally strong female personality. I didn’t get to enjoy her long enough.”

Diane Strack and Patty Grau (seated) in their “Queendom” installation at “CA 101.” Photo by Deidre Davidson

From Yvonne Amarillas, of Hermosa Beach:

“Diane was one of a kind. She was a great friend who would always make time to meet up for a quick cup of coffee or glass of wine if you asked her, even when she was busy and running late for another commitment. She would say ‘Oh it or they can wait, I would love to see you.’ Being on time was just not Diane’s forte but it was always worth the wait. You would get several calls from her letting you know that she was just leaving and on her way, which by the way was already after the scheduled meeting time, and then a few more calls would follow like, ‘Would you like me to stop and pick up some pastries or some lunch?’ Then after she arrived, all you would have to ask her was ‘So what’s new with you?’ and she would go on to tell you about her wild and crazy latest adventures and her latest art projects that she was involved in.

“Diane was an amazing and extremely talented artist. She went all out and over the top when entering an art piece to a show; it was always a full-on production. I will miss my dear friend very much and will treasure the memories and laughter we shared over the past 30 plus years. There was never a dull moment when with Diane…Go on and paint the sky woman…. The Girl!”

From Cindy Parker Cook, of Redondo Beach:

“Diane was the true definition of an iconoclast, a multitalented powerhouse who brightened up every room she graced with her presence. I had the honor of co-curating an art show with her under curator Chantal Toporow, and meetings the three of us had are some of my fondest memories. We’d drink wine, eat cheese, laugh, curate, but also the three of us forged a deep friendship I treasure to this day. What I think I loved most about Diane was her guileless honesty. You always knew where you stood with her as she was so delightfully transparent. A truly beautiful person inside and out, I will miss her laugh and cheer.”

From Deidre Davidson, of Redondo Beach:

“Saying goodbye to Diane Strack is a great loss not only for her family and friends, but for the South Bay arts community. When creating art, she always made a statement!”

“Queendom” creators Patty Grau and Diane Strack (front), with ShockBoxx Gallery owners Laura Schuler and Mike Collins, holding “crowns” created by Schuler for “Off With Their Heads.” Photo by Bondo Wyszpolski

From Debra Flores (Debra Flores Art), of Redondo Beach:

“Diane is the most generous and vibrant woman I have ever met. Talented and original in everything she did as an artist and decorator. She raised a competent daughter all on her own and worked most of her life.

“Diane is my beautiful friend who lives on in my heart.”

In lieu of flowers, please support Friends of Redondo Beach Arts
CA 101 2019 in Memoriam of Diane Strack.

This is Patty Grau’s poetic tribute to her friend and colleague:

My Friend
I met you too late
You left me too soon.
My Friend
Bad to the bone
And good to the last drop.
Best Friends
Thelma and Louise I’d call us
Get in, you’d say, I’m driving.
My Friend, goodbye
But not fare thee well
As I know you’ll be trouble
Even in Hell. ER


comments so far. Comments posted to may be reprinted in the Easy Reader print edition, which is published each Thursday.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login