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SIM-34: The Mimi Aloia Collection

Identifier: SIM-34


  • Record Keeping: 1968-2018



Mimi Dian Aloia (b: May 9, 1934) A graduate of Richmond College (B.S., cum laude, 1978), with a focus on studio art, Aloia studied in the NYU Masters studio art program in the 1980s and has been active in community arts organizations for decades in New York and Palm Beach, FL.

She instructed continuing education classes at Wagner H.S. in pressed flower art and oil painting for 15 years. In 1995, she began teaching classes in painting and creative writing for the United Federation of Teachers, retiring in 2009. Over her artistic life, Aloia has frequently exhibited at public galleries.

In 1994, Aloia received a grant to publish an illustrated poetry book, Diary Patch Works, inspired by journals of a 19th century Staten Island farm woman. Aloia has published additional poems and prose, which included her cover art and drawings, including Mi Dilly Dilly and Mi (2002) and My Father's Fish (2013), and is currently working on a novella, The Odalisque.


May 9, 1934 Born, Bensonhurst Memorial Hospital, Brooklyn, New York

1940-1957 Resided at 8301 Twentieth Avenue, Brooklyn. Attended PS 128 (Bensonhurst) for primary and junior high school

1944-1952 During summer camp in the Adirondack Mountains at Rudd Pond, (Millerton, NY) discovers rural life

1952 Participates in high school work/study program, attending classes one week and working the next week (at a salary of $28 per week for New York Life Insurance Company as a file clerk

January, 1952 Graduates Lafayette High School

1953-1958 Secretary to Vice President of Ross and Rowe, Inc. 1954 Night Classes in Drawing, Art Students League 1955 Night Classes in Painting, Brooklyn College

1954; 1956 Cross-country automobile trip with parents and childhood friend (Connie) to Orme Ranch (Mayer, AZ). Discovers Native American art, jewelry, and culture

October 27, 1957 Marries Thomas Aloia, New Utrecht Dutch Reformed Church, Bensonhurst and honeymoons at Montego Beach Club, Montego Bay. Live in Baldwin, NY. Thomas Aloia is son of Joe Aloia, founder of Aloia Agency, Insurance (Fifth Avenue, Sunset Park, Brooklyn)

August 2, 1958 Birth of first son, Thomas Aloia; December 1, 1960 Birth of second son, Dean Stedman Aloia 1961 Move to 10th Street Bay Ridge, Brooklyn to be closer to Tom's job at Aloia Agency

1960s Night Classes in Oil Painting, Jewish Community House and active in Manhattan branch of National League of American Pen Women

Develops flower pressing business using flowers from backyard garden and selling to individuals and Sungott Art Studios, New York

Works part-time at Aloia Agency

Children attend Lutheran Elementary School in Bay Ridge 1972 Move to 19 Hillcrest Court, Staten Island and participate in local community through Cameron Club on Brady's Pond

1973 Attend Staten Island Community College (awarded credit for life experience based on autobiography included in collection)

1976 Studio at Norwood Avenue Art Lab

1976 Family becomes member of Richmond County Country Club 1977-1982 Studio on Railroad Avenue, Staten Island 1978 Graduate Richmond College, BS, cum laude with classes in studio art (drawing, painting, and sculpture)

1980 Receives Board of Education Competency Certificate to instruct classes in Pressed Flower Art and Oil Painting in Susan Wagner High School Continuing Education Program. Teaches classes there for fifteen years

1981-1982 Attends New York University Masters Studio Art program 1983 Participates in NYU Venice Summer Art Program 1984 Designs interior and exterior of new offices of Aloia McKinnon Insurance in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn

1985 Works full-time at Aloia McKinnon Insurance in various roles, including billing, personnel coordinator, and receptionist.

1987 Begins rebuilding residence at 19 Hillcrest Court from the ground up (makes temporary residence in a condominium) 1989 Moves back into the completed house at 19 Hillcrest Court after successfully resolving problems with general contractor, resulting legal case, and directly sub-contracting the construction work.

1990 Joins Staten Island Poetry Society

1991 Creates first shield, influenced by Native American art and culture.

1991 Retires with husband from Aloia McKinnon Insurance and begins wintering in Palm Beach Gardens, Florida

1993 Attends New York Institute of Writing summer session at Skidmore College and takes a poetry workshop with Robert Pinsky.

1994 Joins Poets of the Palm Beaches

1994 Receives a grant from New York State Endowment for the Arts to self-publish first book of poems, Diary Patch Works

1994 Attends International Women's Writers Guild at Skidmore College

1995 Retires from teaching continuing education classes at Susan Wagner High School

1995 Begins teaching classes in painting and creative writing at United Federation of Teachers

1996 Spends time in Santé Fe, NM exploring Native American culture and taking a course in black ware pottery at San Ildefonso Pueblo with granddaughters of potter Maria Martinez

1996 Completes quilting bee project, working with group of women who create fabric art depicting Diary Patch Works illustrations for a large quilt

1997 Mother, Mary Caruso Simonetti, dies 1998 Trip to Santa Fe, NM 2001 Trip to Ghost Ranch (Abiquiu, NM) to hike the high desert

2002 Self publish illustrated book of poems and short stories, entitled Mi Dilly Dilly and Mi 2003 Husband, Tom Aloia dies 2009 Retire from United Federation of Teachers 2009 Father, Frank Simonetti dies 2010 Meets Frank Raso who becomes close companion

2013 Self publishes illustrated book of poems and prose titled, My Father's Fish

2014 Begins writing novella, The Odalisque 2015 Travels in Sicily with Frank Raso 2015 Completes rough draft of The Odalisque

2015 Collaborates with Lou Barella on film, Shapes, Sounds, Shades and Shadows of Sicily

2016 Staten Island Community Television broadcasts Shapes, Sounds, Shades and interview with Aloia


5.0 Linear Feet

Language of Materials


  • Diaries Subject Source: Library of Congress Subject Headings
Language of description
Script of description

Repository Details

Part of the CSI Archives & Special Collections Repository