Ellen Abraham is a former Social Studies teacher who now works in front of a canvas instead of a classroom. She is, however, still very much concerned with “social studies” as a subject for her art. She feels a great affinity with artists such as George Gross, Otto Dix and Archibald Motley who also painted scenes of daily life in their own tumultuous time. Kathleen Vaccaro, reviewer for The Art Blog, describes her work: “Ellen Abraham’s large oil paintings, drawings and sketchbooks portray everyday scenes of bars, the subway and city life. Like artists of an earlier era, Toulouse-Lautrec, Max Beckman and Otto Dix, for example, Abraham’s exaggerated figures and flattened pictorial spaces attempt to capture the gestalt of today. Abraham is phenomenal in depicting gestures that sum up her characters. While she’s not doing portraits, her archetypal depictions have the verity of Kirchner. Satire and humor are at the forefront of her work”.
Ellen obtained her M.F.A. degree from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. She has shown widely throughout the east coast region. Her work has been featured in The Art Blog, the Philadelphia Inquirer, More Magazine, Chutzpah Magazine, Professional Artist Magazine, the New Jersey Courier Post, the Jewish Exponent, the City Suburban News, the Ambler Enterprise, the Roxborough Review, Philadelphia City Paper, and Art Matters.
Ellen is a past president of ARTsisters, an organization of professional female artists who empower their communities through charity, art education and exhibitions.
My art is a hybrid of the figurative and the abstract.The satire and cartoon imagery of my youthful artwork began to evolve as I grew more familiar with German Expressionism, American Social Realism and Abstract Expressionism. The sketches of people drawn from life that I do almost daily provide constant fodder for my humorous paintings, drawings and prints. My work is a synthesis of humor and fine art. I am quite serious about being silly. My goal is to create art that is sown from the depths of comic outrageousness, satirical observation and mild misanthropy. If Matisse had the “sun in his belly," I have a banana peel permanently attached to my shoe!
OLitsky Gallery, Maple Glen , PA
Hot, Hot, Hot, Christopher's Gallery, Wayne, PA
Hot, Hot, Hot, Melodies Gallery, Ardmore, PA
Paintings by Ellen Abraham, ABstract EXpressions Gallery, Mount Holly, NJ
First Friday Main Line, Firinji Gallery, Ardmore, PA
First Friday Main Line, Democratic Committee of Lower Merion, Ardmore, PA
Exhibition of paintings and political cartoons
First Friday Main Line, Cosi Cafe, Bryn Mawr, PA
Beauty Duty, The Upstairs Gallery, Manayunk, PA
Out of the Corner of my Eye, Artforms Gallery, Manayunk, PA
Two and Three Person Exhibitions
POST. Philadelphia Open Studio Tours, 2424 Studios, Philadelphia, PA
Connections, DaVinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
Three- woman show
Frazzled and Dazzled, Appel Gallery, Cherry Hill, NJ
Head to Toe, Philly Fringe Festival, Okooko Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
The Personal Picture Plane, Stratasphere Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
The Sum of us, Henry Gallery, Penn State University, Great Valley Campus, Malvern, PA
ARTsisters Group Show, St. Asaph’s Gallery, Bala Cynwyd, PA
Plein Air, Plain Air, Plane Air, Cerulean ArtsGallery, Philadelphia,PA
Members’ Exhibition, Da Vinci Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
ARTsisters Group Exibit, Olitsky Gallery, Maple Glen, PA
ARTsisters Group Exibit, Salus University, Elkins Park, PA
Professional Artist Members Juried Exhibition, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Visions, Radley Run Gallery, West Chester, PA
Daniel J. Orens Foundation, Inc, Charity Fundraiser/Auction, Fort Washingon, PA
Fall into Art, Wayne Art Center, Wayne, PA
Connotations, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
Crossing Boundaries, Da Vinci Art Alliance, Philadelphia, PA
Professional Artist Members Exhibition, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Shake it Up, Democratic Committee of Lower Merion & Narberth, Philadelphia, PA
Focus on Economic Inequality, Noyes Arts Garage, Atlantic City, NJ
First Place: Canvassing the Voters
Escapes-Artistic Journeys, Siegel JCC Artspace, Wilmington, DE
Nasty Women, Main Line Unitarian Church, Devon, PA
Visionary, Salus Univerity, Elkins Park, PA
American Dreams, Old City Jewish Art Center, Philadelphia, PA
Square Foot Art Basel Miami 3, Wynwood Lofts, Miami, FL
Exploration of Contrast, Franklin Commons, Phoenixville, PA
The Center for Emerging Visual Artists' guest curator, Diana Nawi, an Associate Curator at the Pérez Art Museum, Miami chose Ellen's work to advance to the second round in the application process for CFEVA's Summer Exhibition
ARTsisters Group Show, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
ARTsisters Group Show, Ellen Abraham Lecture, Wesley Gallery, Media, PA
Ten Colorful Years, Jenkins Arboretum, Devon, PA
Dear Fleisher, Feisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA
A Taste of Shabbos, Old City Jewish Art Center, Philadelphia, PA
The Members Show, Second State Press- InLiquid, Philadelphia, PA
Small Works, Center on the Hill Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
POPtober Art Exhibition, Old City Jewish Art Center, Philadelphia, PA
Shades of Green, Delaware Center for Horticulture, Wilmington, DE
12” x 12” Show, B Square Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Made You Look, Tyme Gallery, Haverford, PA
Phoenix Village Art Center, Phoenixvillle, PA
Artists Equity 2011 Select Exhibition, Fireside & McGinness Galleries, Devon, PA, Juried Exhibition
Juror: Frank Hyder
Square Foot Art Basel Miami, Projects Gallery, Miami, FL
Artist House Co Op (Brooklyn Art Library): The Fiction Project : It Will Be Fun, I Swear, (Book. # 49236), book of stories and illustrations, Full Sail University, Winter Park, FL
Artist House Co Op (Brooklyn Art Library): The Fiction Project : It Will Be Fun, I Swear, (Book. # 49236), book of stories and illustrations, Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL
Artist House Co Op (Brooklyn Art Library): The Fiction Project : It Will Be Fun, I Swear, (Book. # 49236), book of stories and illustrations, Madrone Studios
San Francisco, CA
Artist House Co Op (Brooklyn Art Library): The Fiction Project : It Will Be Fun, I Swear, (Book. # 49236), book of stories and illustrations, Form/Space Atelier, Seattle, WA
Beyond Limits: An Artist’s View of a Pesach Experience, Old City Jewish Art Center, Philadelphia, PA
Child Advocates Annual Benefit Reception and Silent Auction, Wanamaker Crystal Tea Room, Philadelphia, PA
Philadelphia Board of Ethics, Philadelphia, PA
First Friday Philadelphia, The Art of Making Art: A Celebration of Creation, Arden Theatre Company, Philadelphia, PA
Diverse Horizons, Widener University Art Gallery, West Chester, PA
ARTsisters group show
Juror: Valetta, Director of the Regional Center for Women in the Arts, West Chester, PA
In Depth: Printmaking and Photography, (part of Philagrafika 2010), Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
72nd Anniversary Members’ Exhibition, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Ten Mitzvot, Old City Jewish Art Center, Philadelphia, PA
Many Voices, Appel Gallery, Cherry Hill, NJ
Child Advocates Annual Benefit Reception and Silent Auction, Wanamaker Crystal Tea Room, Philadelphia, PA
Irreverence, The Carano Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
ARTsisters Show, Art Trust Gallery, West Chester, PA
Silent Auction and Gala, The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
ARTsisters Group Show, Tyme Gallery, Havertown, PA
The Fabric of Peace, Regional Center for Women in the Arts, West Chester, PA
The World of the Professional Artist 2, Montgomery Guild of Professional Artists, Conshohocken, PA
Philadelphia Fight Benefit for HIV/AIDS Services, Philadelphia, PA
The Personal Picture Plane, Gloucester County College, The Art Gallery, Sewell, NJ
Art + Furniture Experience II Manna and InLiquid.com Benefit, Dane Decor, Philadelphia, PA
Art on the Town, Wilmington Arts Commission, Wilmington, DE
Art on Rodney, Wilmington Arts Commission, Wilmington, DE
Selected to create a chalk art version of one of her paintings
InLiquids's 7th Annual Art for the Cash Poor, Crane Arts Building, Philadelphia, PA
Artforms at Qubix, Qbix Gallery, Philadelphia
25 Kids, 25 artists, Come See What Happens, Artforms Gallery, Manayunk, PA
Our Past Through the Present: 10th Anniversary Celebration, Artforms Gallery, Manayunk, PA
Atlantic City Arts Commission, Martin Wilson,Jr. Center for the Arts, Atlantic City, NJ
The Studio 2003, Kelly Writers House Art Gallery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA
First Blood, Ericson Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
62nd Annual Members' Exhibition, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Curator: Doris Staffel
Awarded the Creative Endeavors Gift Certificate
101st Annual Juried Members Exhibition, The Fellowship of the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Yellow Springs, PA
Master of Fine Arts Thesis Exhibition, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Emerging MFA Students, The White Box Gallery, Philadelphia, PA
Curator: Daniel Rosenfeld, Director of the Museum of American Art, PAFA
Art: A Journey, The Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
Sales and Rental Gallery, The Philadelphia Museum of Art, Philadelphia, PA
Main Line Arts Festival, Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA
"ARTsisters Group Show at Main Line Art Center Benefits New Day Drop in Center for Women Exploited by Sex Trafficking", City Suburban News, June 3, 2015.
Bang, Joan. "Paintings, Printmaking Part of Jenkins Package", Main Line Times, May 24, 2015.
"Exhibition of Paintings by Ellen Abraham at Melodies Cafe Gallery," front page photograph of Beach Day, City Suburban News, July 16, 2014.
Phillips, Renee. "The Art of Collaboration", Professional Artist, Oct./Nov. 2013.
"POPtober Art Exhibition at Old City Jewish Art Center", photograph of We the People, Jewish Exponent online, October 4 2013.
"Shades of Green: Local artists repurpose their work to create a new eco-minded exhibit", Grid Magazine, January 20, 2013.
Feldman, Leslie. "Band of Women", Chutzpah Magazine, Summer 2011.
Vaccaro, Kathleen. "Frankford Ave Vibe at Vwvoffka, Extra Extra and 2424 Studios", The Art Blog, Roberta Fallon & Libby Rosof, October 19, 2010.
"Jewish Exponent Passover Palate", photograph of Afikomen, Jewish Exponent, April 7, 2010.
"A Scene that Dazzled", New Jersey Courier Post, double- page spread, September 20, 2009.
Lamberg, Erica. "Art Group Provides Solidarity for its Sisters", My Community Trend, January 28, 2009.
Figuras, Ligaya. "The Pros and Cons of Collaboration", Art Calendar, February, 2009.
"ARTsisters Exhibit Work at Viking Culinary Center", City Suburban News, April 23, 2008.
Petinelli, Dara. "On Exhibit/Ellen Abraham", More Magazine, November 2008.
Wetstein, Jonathan. "Head Shots at the Philly Fringe Festival", UWISHUNU online, September 4, 2008.
Terruso, Julia. "Fest Bets", Philadelphia City Paper online, August 27, 2008.
Donohoe, Victoria. The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 20, 2008.
"Best Bets photograph of Ex-presso Yourself", The Philadelphia Inquirer, Sunday, July 8, 2007.
"Art Exhibit", photograph of Bar SEEN, City Suburban News, October 24-30, 2007.
"GCC Exhibit to Showcase 7 Contemporary Artists", Gloucester County Times, March 11, 2007.
Donohoe, Victoria. "Looks Like History But It’s Art", The Philadelphia Inquirer, August 13, 2006.
Cassidy, Gretchen. "Take a Joy Ride with Her Humorous Work", The Roxborough Review, April 19, 2006.
"Art Matters Happenings", photograph of Happy Hour, Art Matters, Oct 2005.
Darr, Jennifer. "PAFA’s Student Exhibition", photograph of We the People, Philadelphia City Paper, May 8,1998.
Donohoe, Victoria. "Exhibit Focuses on Eye of Beholder", The Philadelphia Inquirer, July 28, 1996.
Abraham, Ellen. "The Triumph of Mordecai", The Philadelphia Jewish Voice online, March 8, 2011
President Emeritus, ARTsisters
Past Member of Board of Directors, Main Line Art Center
Da Vinci Art Alliance
2008 - 2012
Member of Moe Brooker's Critique Atelier, Philadelphia, PA
1998 - 2004
Member of Osvaldo Romberg's Atelier, Philadelphia, PA
Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA
Villanova University, Villanova, PA
Temple University, Philadelphia, PA
BS, graduated Cum Laude