Lorna Ritz

Amherst, MA

My ideas come from imagination in a completely improvisational, passionate way. I love to see open, breathing, moving space create entry ways deep into the picture plane on the flat surface of linen. I compose with ‘chords of notes,’ as in ‘lines in jazz,’ through color. My paintings ‘sing’ through the light that emanates from the color combinations themselves. I ‘listen’ to how the paint wants to move. The horizon gives prelude to what is beyond landscape in the paintings, (thus, the abstraction), as I want ‘to push it there,’ beyond what the eye sees as gravity/sky landscape. I am developing the tradition coming out of cubism and then Hofmann’s plastic space.

I received a BFA from Pratt Institute, and and an MFA from Cranbrook Academy of Art, both in painting and sculpture, (working the 2-D concepts into 6’ welded steel, and casting in bronze). I taught at RI School of Design, Brown, University of Minnesota, and Dartmouth College, and have been a continuous “Guest Critic” at the Vermont Studio Center from 1991 – 2009.

I have taught painting, drawing and art history at Western New England University since 2004. In addition, Lorna has taught, lectured, and exhibited internationally including the Art-in-Embassies Program in D.C.  Lorna has been a “Guest Critic” at The Vermont Studio Center 1991-2013, and was ‘cultural ambassador’ to exchange ideas with artists in South Africa . She has been the recipient of many awards and grants including The Puffin Foundation Grant to work with prisoners, a George Sugarman Foundation Grant Award, 2007, an Artists’ Fellowship, NYC, 2008 and 2011, and The Haven Foundation Award, Maine 2008 & 2011. Most recently noteworthy is the upcoming inclusion in 2013 for the movie set “Dead Man Down,’ Director Niels Arden, starring Colin Farrell and Terrence Howard.

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