Ana Artau – November 2016
This month we’re honoring the grandmother of Gretchen Schauffler, artist and founder of Devine Color, a line of wall and spray paint and wallpaper products available nationally at Target.
Ana Laura Pacheco Artau was born in 1920 in San Juan, Puerto Rico. She lived in a Spanish soap opera world; abandoned by her mother, her father took her out of school (which she loved) when she was 14 years old and for ced her to cook and clean for him and her awful step-mother. She married at 17, had three children, and not only raised them, but her granddaughter, Gretchen (her only grandchild for 17 years) as well. Since she wasn’t allowed to finish school, she made sure her children and
grandchildren went to college and were independent.
Ana was always in her galley-like kitchen and would never let Gretchen in, seemingly worried that if she did, Gretchen would be caught in a vortex that would never let her out. She promised Gretchen that someday she would have a great job so that she
wouldn’t have to be in the kitchen like her. Every meal she served was intentional and full of hope for her family’s future. She indulged all of Gretchen’s “antojos” or cravings, making her sweetened condensed milk popsicles at the drop of a hat. For her, like many mothers and grandmothers, food was her language of love.
Ana moved to Oregon in the early 90’s to be around Gretchen’s two daughters when they were born. She cooked for them, as she had for Gretchen, until they went off to college. She loved America and how women had the freedom to work and choose what to do with their own lives. Though she didn’t get to live the American dream, she made sure that her progeny did.