Even though she has shown her artistic talents since third grade, Enid Silverman thought she would become an English teacher. A newlywed with a bachelor’s degree in art and education, she decided to become a substitute teacher when she discovered she needed a master’s degree to get a teaching job. She also studied at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art.
Describing her work as romantic realism with an impressionistic touch, she sold her first five paintings to an antique dealer happened to see her work. This was the first time she entertained the thought of becoming a professional artist. This sale led her to enter a juried art show.
This led to her displaying her paintings at summer art shows starting around 1967. “People then went with the express purpose of buying paintings at that time,” she said. With her success at these shows, and some resulting awards, she abandoned teaching in public schools and pursued her passion – painting.
A chance encounter with a woman she met at a dress shop led her to study with late artist Peter Darro.
“It’s amazing how you take a fork in the road and it influences your entire life,” said Silverman. “Peter saw my stuff and told me I could do better. That started my relationship with him. He was a marvelous talent and person. I was one of his last new students and he influenced my entire career.”
Due to her studies with Darro, Silverman began working with the prestigious Merrill Chase galleries, selling her art through them in Chicago and Las Vegas. She also began teaching in the surrounding communities).
When I was asked to do stained glass windows, which she knew nothing about, she talked to her mentor. “Peter told me to go for it. That’s been my motto ever since,” she said. “I bite off more than I can chew and chew fast, taking on every opportunity I can. The stained glass windows became the most creative and rewarding things I’ve ever done.”
In addition to painting on canvas, Darro encouraged her to paint murals, including one for Children’s Memorial Hospital and another for Damar Natural Stone. She also began to accept stained glass projects and, about 20 years ago, started to do a television show interviewing other artists.
“Other than writing,” she observed, “what else do we do that lasts longer than we do? Nothing else lasts like a painting. It still amazes me that people travel to galleries and to Europe to look at paint on a canvas and get a thrill. Isn’t that amazing?”