1944 - 2013
Danielle Ginette DeMers died in New York City on August 26, 2013, after a short illness following a recent diagnosis of cancer. A painter and printmaker living and working in New York City, she also maintained a studio on Hilton Head Island, S.C.
Born in Hollywood, California in the late 1940's, she grew up in Chappaqua, NY. Her parents, the late Joe and Janice DeMers, influenced her lifelong immersion in art . Joe DeMers, a well-known illustrator, and his stylish wife moved to Hilton Head Island in 1969, opening Joe DeMers Gallery during the island's then-pioneer days.
Danielle studied printmaking, drawing and painting at Bennington College with Vincent Longo, Stanley Rosen and Jules Olitski, among others. Upon graduation, she moved to Montreal where she joined L'Atelier 848, an artists'-run printmaking studio. She joined the Pratt Graphic Center continuing her printmaking and studying under Clare Romano (etching & collagraph) and David Finkbeiner (intaglio). She later taught Figure Drawing at NYU, The Red Piano Art Gallery, the Art League of Hilton Head and as a visiting artist at Spring Island, S.C.
Always an artist, Danielle produced notable achievements as an educator, administrator and entrepreneur. Serving as Administrative Director at New York University's (Tisch) School of the Arts Theatre Program, she mentored young actors, dancers, designers and directors with dedication and insight. In that role, Danielle was considered by many to be the "heart" of the Program, the emotional center students, faculty and staff sought for calm guidance.
After leaving NYU, Danielle established her own company, Danielle DeMers and Associates, which for more than 20 years provided corporate communications and event services for such varied clients as the Marriott hotel group, the National Association of Geriatric Care Managers, Wendy's and T.G.I. Friday's. In 1985, she was a principal member of the team that produced the opening day ceremony for the NY Marriott Marquis, considered the lynchpin of Times Square's turnaround.
She was a long-time member of the Manhattan Graphics Center in New York City, where she printed and taught a Monotype Intensive class. Her drawings, watercolors and prints have been shown in the U.S. and abroad. They can be seen at Four Corners Gallery in Bluffton, S.C.
For many years, she was the companion of the late Laslo Benedek, the acclaimed director of the iconic 1953 film, The Wild One, and such television shows as the Perry Mason series. Her longtime friend, Ed Ferron, was by her side when she passed away.
She is survived by her first cousin, John Wolfe, of Phoenix, Arizona, and her second cousin, Sara Crone Fritts, who lives in San Jose. Having no siblings or children, she was terribly proud of and cared deeply for her godchildren. In all her working and personal life, Danielle's quintessential ability to make and maintain connections resulted in a remarkable network of people who became her "extended family."
Memorial services are planned in New York City and Hilton Head Island.
Published in New York Times from Oct. 7 to Oct. 8, 2013.