Diane Alva, American (1949-)

An only child, Diane Alva was raised by Mexican parents in a home near Tiger Stadium. Alva says her first words were the names of the players, and she learned her numbers by studying the backs of their jerseys. Her father was highly artistic, constantly drawing, sculpting and painting, and he taught her how to nurture her creative gifts.

“I thought everybody lived that way,” recalls Alva, who has studied art at Wayne State University, Henry Ford Community College and Wayne County Community College.

In 2004, Diana and her husband, James Puntigam, co-founded of the Detroit Clay Co., in Southwest Detroit after Alva decided to leave her administrative role with the Foundation Department at Detroit’s Center for Creative Studies.

Alva describes her paintings, largely done in acrylics, as “toothy.” She uses a “push-pull” technique, applying paint with brushes, cardboard or sticks, to create a “structural thicket” with textured lines reminiscent of calligraphy.

Alva’s works can be seen at the Detroit Artists Market, the Grosse Pointe Art Center and at the Ladybug Gallery on Hubbard St. in Detroit.