Daly Makes Her Mark on Highland’s Art Department


Ethan Sutton

Lisa Daly teaching one of her art classes

Malia Hansen, Staff Writer

Art at Highland is becoming more recognized and valued every year, giving students a new avenue for their career and self-expression. A new professional in the spiritual depth of art now teaches in G106—Lisa Daly. She’s been teaching for about 30 years and has been doing art since she was a child. 

“Making a mark got me started,” Daly said. She loves how the depth and growth of mark-making can turn into masterpieces. One of the most powerful pieces of art she’s ever seen is the Sistine Chapel. It’s a strong piece to her because of her personal ties to it, and because of the effort put into it. Although she’s never been, Daly dreams of seeing it. 

Art is a whole new world of communication, and she’s taught all ages at over 12 different places on how to use it. Out of all the audiences, high schools are her favorite to mentor. 

“I like high school levels and secondary levels—but high school in particular—because it’s that time with all of these thoughts and feelings, and you’re almost out in the world. Everything’s sort of coming together—you’re starting to define more and more of who you are,” Daly said. 

In a tough environment where punching numbers and memorizing history fills seven hours a day, Daly’s hope in students and passion for art is more than refreshing. In her life outside of teaching and art, she still loves creating things—just on a different level. 

On September 21, the first Tooele County Arts Boutique took place, all directed and started by Daly. She gathered artists and created an event to revive art in Tooele. 

In her home in Tooele, she’s started her own garden and put in all the work. Daly has designed it, made tiles for it, grown it, and done the whole thing by hand. Her family of husband and dog get fresh vegetables grown in their backyard. 

Her husband is an artist of sound, or a musician. They have a beloved chihuahua, Max, who’s an artist of cuteness. Daly’s love for Max rivals her love for art. Her sister, Mary Spencer, is an artist of natural sciences. Spencer teaches biology, botany, anatomy, and physiology. 

She gave her thoughts about her sister, saying, “She cares so much about people; she gives 100 percent.” 

Daly helps Spencer create lesson plans and more artistic activities, like drawing a pose and adding skeletal and muscle structure in her anatomy class. Back when Daly used to work in California for an art dealer, Spencer said she gave any extra supplies to other people.  

“She would find poor kids whose parents were like digging in the dumpsters, and she would stop, pull her car over, and give them supplies. That is Lisa,” said Spencer. 

She tells that story, saying, “the little boy was sitting in the gutter waiting for his mom to dig through the dumpster, and Lisa just cried and pulled over, and opened up her trunk, and pulled out all her art supplies and gave them to that kid.” 

Daly is always giving whatever she can to help others, and understand the world with art. Luckily for Highland, we have Daly on our art team now. 

“Art at this level is now like this magical tool that connects other things and hopefully—if I’m doing my job right—some of the high school students will say, ‘Gee I kind of like this. Maybe I will be going into art or some form of engineering,’” Daly said. 

As school subjects and career pathways become more diverse in creativity, more great teachers come to share their knowledge. Daly’s never-ending positivity, passion for people, and appreciation for art is the exact revitalizer Highland needs. Hopefully one day she can take an overdue trip to see the masterful blend of painting, architecture, inspiration, and self-expression that is the Sistine Chapel. 

For more of her projects, go to her website www.lisaquagliozzi.com.