Corina Pia, artist and yogini, was born near Frankfurt in the state of Hessen, Germany. At age 13 she took her first yoga class and the immediate benefits she gained have kept her practicing yoga ever since. For 30 years she has been studying with international teachers, experiencing a variety of styles.
In her teenage years Corina excelled in all art-related studies offered at her school. At age 16 she participated in her first group art show. In addition to her school's classes she enrolled in continuing education classes in watercolor, caricature, portraiture, and dance. She learned the art of window/showroom displays, sign/board making and retail management. In 1985 she received an associate’s degree in specialized merchandizing.
In 1988 she re-located to the USA. Her academic art studies started in 1990 with honors at the Art Institute of Atlanta in Visual Communications. In 1992 she joined Kennesaw University majoring in Sculpture/Painting, winning various awards at the annual student exhibits. In 1993 to 94 she became the studio assistant to sculpting Professor Odeleye.
In 1995 Corina was hired to assist architectural model builders and worked on a project in architect John Portman’s studio. In 1996 she added computer drawing to her skills. From 1996-98 she attended the Atlanta College of Art, where she earned a certificate in graphic arts complementing her corporate position as a Graphics Engineer. For nearly five years a worldwide client base enjoyed about 700 of her architectural illustrations. She left behind a promising career to pursue her calling in the visual arts. With thorough computer skills she added digital art to her creative outlets of choice.
Corina furthered her studies in sculpture in the studios of professional artists including sculptor Martin Dawe, Mustafah Dhada, Karen Beswick, and Debra Fritts. She is grateful to have studied with legendary painter Michael Venezia [TABOO], as well as Maggie Morales, Gail Wegodsky and Silja Lahtinen. Additional courses included hand building in clay [KSU], stained glass [KSU], slumping-, fusing-, and casting with glass [Spruill Art Center] and a macro photography workshop with Charles Needles. Most reasoned workshop in painting 'Rethinking Acrylics' with Patti Brady.
From 2000 to 2008 Corina was actively involved in the art world of Atlanta, GA. She founded the international artist collective ‘Upward Spiral’ [2000-02]. She led the art ministry of Unity North [2004-06]. In 2006 she functioned as the gallery coordinator at Art Space International preparing for its grand opening. In 2007 she joined a.i.r.i. [artist in residence international] as the Vice President.
In 2001 Corina dedicated an exhibit at Heaven Blue Rose Gallery to benefit 9/11. Musical guest Kodac Harrison performed. Roswell Mayor Jere Wood was the guest of honor. All proceeds went to the United Way. Charities she has also supported include: Project Open Hand, Make a Wish Foundation, The Atlanta Opera, Coffee Kids, Visual Aids, Chairish the Future, GA Lawyers for the Arts, Art Papers, Beyond Your Mind, World Aids Day, Peace Postcards, Atlanta Beltline, Human Rights Campaign, Amuse’UM, Rally For The Cure, AARF 219, ACFB, Full Court Fest [Hawks] and It's About Time [G-CAPP].
In her artistic development, always seeking deeper insights, Corina completed the courses 'The Artist's Way - A Spiritual Path to Higher Creativity', later an experimental painting class at Atlanta College of Art - 'Painting from the Chakras', a workshop sponsored by the Atlanta Art Therapists - 'The Painting Experience' and she also participated twice in 'The Fieldwork Workshop' at Emory University in Atlanta. The Fieldwork method originated in New York over 25 years ago and is designed to provide support, structure, and community to help artists immerse themselves fully in their creative work.
Between 2003 and 2011 Corina assisted at five Cirque Du Soleil shows under the Grand Chapiteau (Big Top) in Atlanta: •Varekai •Alegria •Corteo •Kooza •Ovo. Working for Cirque was a unique experience she absolutely savored; she considers the time spent with the Cirque team artistic research and development. Like the Cirque artists she dreams to enrich the lives of all those who cross her path.
In 2008 Corina received her certification as a yoga instructor [RYT 200] and therapist [Level I]. She studied with Gurmukh [Mike Noury], owner and instructor at Yoga of India in Atlanta. At completion of yoga teacher training students are symbolically given a new name. Corina’s new given yogini name is 'Pooja' which means 'Connecting to Source'.
Today her merging of techniques and a great passion for color result in artwork that is instantly identifiable for its vibrancy and fluidity of form. Her overall craftsmanship embodies a distinct European sophistication much appreciated by her audience. Her work has been featured in over 70 group shows and over a dozen ‘one woman’ exhibits.Over the past 20 years Corina and her husband, Japanese glass blower Tadashi Torii, primary country of residence has been the United States. In 2011 they relocated to Western North Carolina. In contrast to fast-paced city living the couple enjoys the delightful inspiration of mountains, lakes, rivers, waterfalls, and wide open skies. Corina presently continues to create her art, teaches gentle Hatha Yoga, shares her love for essential oils and guides meditations in her area.
She is available to facilitate rejuvenating retreats or publicly speak on yoga and art.