Painting | Director of Music
Effi Casey was born in Marburg/ Lahn, Germany, into a family of artists and musicians. The arts were an integral part of Effi’s upbringing as both her father and paternal grandfather were well known painters and all her siblings were actively involved in music, teaching, and theater.
Outside her home, thirteen years of Waldorf school education in Marburg further provided an environment of holistic learning and creative development. Effi showed interest in drawing and painting as well as in music early on. From a young age, Effi studied music intently and became an accomplished violinist. Her formal studies in painting took place at the Academy of Fine Arts in Nurnberg, Germany, between 1962 and 1964 while simultaneously continuing violin lessons and chamber orchestra activities.
In 1964, an unexpected opportunity led Effi to become the studio assistant of Hans Purrmann, internationally known German painter and colleague of Matisse, living in Montagnola, Ticino, Switzerland. She assisted Purrmann (who was paralyzed) until his death in 1966. This unique apprenticeship influenced Effi’s painting greatly.
In 1966 Effi met the Taliesin Fellowship during their summer stay in Montagnola and ultimately joined the group that same year. After attending the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, she spent several years in Tehran, Iran with her husband, Taliesin architect Tom Casey, who served as representative of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation and supervisor of architectural projects of the Taliesin Architects firm in Iran.
Since the Casey’s return to Taliesin in 1979 with their young daughter, Effi has directed the Taliesin Chamber Ensemble, the Taliesin Chorus and ultimately became the Director of Music at Taliesin which she is still today. Effi was instrumental in assisting her husband, Dean of the Frank Lloyd Wright School of Architecture, in the efforts to pursue institutional and program accreditation for the School which was achieved in 1987. In subsequent years, Effi served as the school’s Education Coordinator, Director of Assessment and Advisor.
Like Tom Casey, who passed away in 2005 after being at Taliesin for fifty five years, Effi served as a Trustee on the Board of the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation for eight years and continues to stay engaged in furthering the mission of the Foundation and the School.
As a Taliesin Fellowship member, residing in Taliesin and Taliesin West, Effi is committed to actively contributing to the ever-evolving legacy of Frank Lloyd Wright in celebration of the arts, education and sustainable living. She finds sharing the legacy with the wider community and public energizing.