Elissa Glassgold

Elissa Glassgold

    Gallery

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    Paintings

    Artist's Biography

    I studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, during which time I was awarded a William Emlen Cresson Memorial Traveling Scholarship. I hold a Bachelor of Fine Art and Art Education from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and MFA in Painting from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

    I was a resident artist at The Samuel Fleisher Art Memorial from 1981 until 1985, and taught various classes including Life Painting and Drawing there until 2010. I was employed by Temple/Tyler University in Philadelphia for six years as a full time adjunct instructor and was also an instructor of Art History and Life Drawing at the Hussian School of Art in Philadelphia for five years. In addition, I wrote an undergraduate Liberal Arts course in Visual Language and Art History which I taught at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey for four years.

    Concurrent with College Teaching, I was involved in early elementary art education for several years, working primarily in the Philadelphia/New Jersey areas. Most recently, I was part of a founding team of Arts, Music, Technology and Dance faculty at an experimental early education school which was funded by the State of Pennsylvania in partnership with philanthropic sources based at Swarthmore University, Pennsylvania.

    In 1987 I was awarded an Individual Artist Grant from the Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts. I was represented by and exhibited my work at the Charles More Gallery in Philadelphia, and have participated in many faculty, solo and group exhibitions which included the Lawrence Gallery of Rosemont College, Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Ackland Art Museum UNC, The Wind Challenge Exhibition/Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA, The Philadelphia Art Alliance, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia PA, The Noyes Museum of Art, New Jersey, The University of Delaware, Abington Art Center, PA, and The Drawing Center in NYC. I was also a founding member of Nexus Gallery, Philadelphia, where I exhibited in group and solo shows.

    From 1990 until 2010, during which time I was painting, exhibiting, and teaching part time, I also worked in the commercial field of Toy Design. I produced sculpted prototype dolls for Zapf-Creation Germany, whose products were featured at FAO Schwarz and in the European marketplace. My work became very well known in this milieu. I was nominated for many industry awards, several articles were written about my designs, and my work was featured in books which celebrated the works of contemporary Doll Artists. In addition to production work, I created individual mixed media sculptures/dolls, which were exhibited at such Venues as the Jacob Javitts Center Invitational: “The Doll as Art” annual exhibition at International Toy Fair. My works were included in venues related to the field of mixed media figural sculpture in group exhibitions in New Orleans, Chicago, and also in industry sponsored exhibitions in New York, San Francisco, and Germany.

    In 2015 and 2017 I attended a residency at the Vermont Studio Center and in 2018 was a resident at The Horned Dorset Artist’s Colony in Leonardsville, New York.

    Artist's Statement

    I consider my works to be visual narratives that illustrate the magical, ecstatic, transcendent and traumatic experiences of childhood. These images are primarily autobiographical, but are also derived from my ongoing interest in the social history of childhood as portrayed in literature, fairy tales and religious iconography. The backdrops for these narrative works are inspired by both my early life growing up in Detroit, and the magnificent views of Georgian Bay, Ontario, where my family has owned a small cabin for many years.

    A few years ago I began a series of works based on the Greek stories of the constellations, particularly those of the spring and fall equinoxes that are visible over the Great Lakes. I have added one character to the sky; a very young child whose grave I encountered, and who became an unexpected inspiration for me while attending an artist’s residency in Vermont. I have set her to dwell close to the North Star., so that she can always be seen, and where she will never feel as lonely as I imagined she was in her short life.