Biographical / Historical
Italo Scanga (1932-2001) was a sculptor, painter, and educator based in San Diego, California.
Born in Calabria, Italy in 1932, Italo Scanga and his family immigrated to the United States in 1946 and settled in Michigan. After graduating from high school, Scanga worked on the assembly line of General Motors and enlisted in the United States Army, serving in Austria in the early 1950s. Upon returning to Michigan, Scanga studied at Michigan State University where he received his MFA in sculpture in 1961.
Scanga's career was marked by a dual love of teaching and creating art. He accepted many teaching positions at various institutions including the University of Wisconsin, Madison, the Tyler School of Art, Rhode Island School of Design, Pilchuck Glass School, and the University of California, San Diego. He created works of art in various forms of media including sculpture, sometimes using found-objects, prints, ceramics, glass, painting, and mixed-media. His works combined fine art, craft, and kitsch.
Scanga married Mary Louise Ashley in 1956 and together they had five children. Later, he married artist Stephanie Smedley. Italo Scanga died in 2001 and is survived by his partner, Su Mei Yu, a restauranteur and his five children, Katherine, Sarah, Anthony, Joseph, and William.