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Pilar Pobil

Pilar Pobil was born in Mallorca, Spain in 1929. She is essentially a self-taught painter and sculptor known for her brilliantly colored watercolors and oils. She lives in Salt Lake City.

Pobil and her family escaped from Spain after her father was killed in the Spanish Civil War.  After the war she returned to Mallorca where she took art classes at Academia de Bellas Artes Raimundo Lulio. The work of Spanish artists Pablo Picasso and Joan Miro influenced her.

After raising her family she returned to creating art. Shortly thereafter her work was exhibited at the Salt Art Center, Bountiful Art Center, Springville Museum of Fine Arts, Eccles Community Center, the Kimball Art Center, and many Salt Lake galleries. La Procession (1996), Mujeres de Veracruz (1994), and Portrait of a Well Known Utah Artist of French Origin: Francis Zimbeaux (1991) are examples of her vibrant painting.

Biography adapted from Artists of Utah.

Pilar Pobil was born in Madrid, Spain, and lived in the Spanish Mediterranean port cities of Palma de Mallorca and Alicante for the first 26 years of her life. In 1956, she married Walter Smith and moved to Salt Lake City, Utah. Pilar studied art in convent school while growing up and at the Academia de Bellas Artes Raimundo Lulio in Palma de Mallorca. Despite this background, she never started working seriously on art until 1973, and consequently, considers herself a self-taught artist.

In 1973, inspired by her son's interest, Pilar took a pottery class that started her artistic career making hand-built sculptures. Much of this early work is in a folk art style that reflects her Spanish heritage. Common themes are landscapes, market scenes, peasants, saints, and nativity scenes. Pilar comments on the influences in her work:

My art reflects my Spanish origin which I consider my most valuable inheritance. For those who think my style Western, I can only point out that the whole culture of Western America was brought from Spain in a piece, and that the cultural interchange between what is now our Southwest and Spain went on for centuries.

Pilar Pobil first exhibited her clay sculptures in the Phillips Gallery in Salt Lake City in 1974. Soon after, she began branching out into painting watercolors and oils. Her contemporary work also reflects her background but it does mix with her colorful, expressionistic, contemporary self.

Her new works have an expressionist quality with bold colors and confident execution. She says,

I am not a complicated person, I draw my subjects from images that surround me. I have always been an observer of human expression and I try to project my observations into my art work. I love color, and I use it to depict emotions and feelings.

I want to stop the clock and catch moments of life--make you see what I see. My work has helped me to grow as a person, it has made me free, and I am different today because of my art.

Today, Pilar's work has been exhibited in several cities in the United States and is represented in many private and public collections in Spain, Mexico, and the United States. Pilar Pobil currently lives in both Salt Lake City, Utah, and in Guaymas, Sonora, Mexico.

Biography courtesy Springville Museum of Art.

Newspaper Articles

"A Reawakening: Politics Inspires Painter as she Prepares for Solo Exhibition in Springville." The Salt Lake Tribune, December 9, 2005.

"Art Calendar." The Salt Lake Tribune, May 26, 1995.

"Briefly." The Salt Lake Tribune, September 13, 2002.

"Caring Through Creativity R.S.V.: Good People, Good Causes." The Salt Lake Tribune, July 23, 1995.

"Day of the Dead: Bring Out the Skulls, Dust Off Headstones of Loved Ones." The Salt Lake Tribune, November 1, 2001.

"Showing at Local Galleries." The Deseret News, April 13, 2003.

"Utah Marquee: Art." The Salt Lake Tribune, June 9, 1995.

"Utah Marquee: Art." The Salt Lake Tribune, May 19, 1995.

"Utah Marquee: Visual Art." The Salt Lake Tribune, April 18, 2003.

"Utah Marquee: Visual Art." The Salt Lake Tribune, December 1, 1995.

"Utah Marquee: Visual Art." The Salt Lake Tribune, November 24, 1995.


Olpin, Robert S., William C. Seifrit, and Vern G. Swanson. Artists of Utah. Salt Lake City, UT: Gibbs Smith Publisher, 1999.


Trinnaman, Jamaica. "Living in Color." Utah Home and Gardens, Summer 2002, 145-147.

 Last Modified 4/1/20