December 2, 1999 Geneva, NY – Creating holiday greeting cards is a project Hobart and William Smith Art Professor Elena Ciletti undertook nearly three decades ago in an effort to give something special to her family and friends. But the labor intensive process of designing her collage-like cards has resulted in such extraordinary creations that Ciletti now keeps every last one. Many who view the cards find that they provoke emotions of laughter, curiosity, and awe.
Ciletti says she started making them in high school and at that time did give them away, but since then her cards have become more elaborate and now she won't give them away. “I put so much time into them that I can't give them away,” Ciletti says. Instead she takes the creations and simply slips them into envelopes and stores them in a dresser drawer.
Ciletti, associate professor of art at Hobart and William Smith, holds a Ph.D. and a master's degree from the University of Chicago, and a bachelor's degree from Pennsylvania State University. She is an art historian whose education has taken her from her native Pennsylvania to Venice, Rome, Vienna, Strobl, and Austria. She joined the art department faculty at Hobart and William Smith Colleges in 1974, and has led several study abroad programs to Italy.
Interview opportunities and additional background on Professor Ciletti may be requested through the Office of College Relations, Hobart and William Smith Colleges.
Hobart College for men and William Smith College for women — private, liberal arts institutions with a combined enrollment of 1,800 — are noted for both their ambitious emphasis on international study and their integrated curricular and co-curricular programs in community service. They are among the top 10 colleges in the nation in participation in off-campus programs. Hobart and William Smith are located in Geneva, in the heart of the Finger Lakes region of upstate New York.