Squillante grew up in Hong Kong and developed a curiosity for art early on. At 3 years old, she was already drawing and recreating pictures out of Chinese comic books. It was not until her teens that she got into photography after convincing her older brother to give her his camera. Since then, she has seen the world through a camera lens.
Her first photography job was at RTV-Television in Hong Kong, but she said getting the job wasn’t easy.
“Think about the world 30 years ago,” she said, “They didn’t like having a girl as a photographer because Hong Kong is a man’s world.”
After conquering photography in China she moved to the United States in 1984. After a year of living in San Francisco she was drawn to Reno.
“I came here because I loved the downtown library,” she said, “I loved the books and I thought, ‘Wow one day I’m going to move here.’ ”
Since moving to Reno, Squillante has held solo art exhibits and joined the Connections Art Group. To continue learning, she has taken classes at Truckee Meadows Community College.
Squillante carries a camera with her wherever she goes. She says she can take a thousand pictures in a few hours when the mood hits her.
Since 2003, she has taken more than 50,000 pictures and hopes within the next five years to have her art in all 50 states.
“I want human beings to feel what I feel,” she said. “God gave me a gift and I would like to pass the gift to everybody through my lens.”
Squillante knows she is not the best artist but says she does not do art for negative people or popularity.
“Being popular steals your freedom,” she said.
She currently has a photography exhibition at the Sparks Library, which can be viewed until Feb. 11. The show is called “Purity” because it features pictures of snow that Squillante took on Christmas last year.
In the end, Squillante hopes that her pictures will help people see a different side of life.
“I think as a human being you can show the beauty that somebody cannot notice or isn’t paying attention (to),” she said. “I hope I can open people’s eyes so that they can be happier.”