Rotunda Art Gallery
The Rotunda Gallery is open Monday thru Friday from 9am to 5pm.*
Deborah Lester & Rita Montrosse
November 11, 2019 - January 13, 2020
About Deborah and Rita
Deborah: I have been a fine artist since 1983. I do consider myself self-taught, but I've taken workshops with Seay Earehart, Frankie Wheeler, Marilyn Hughey-Phillis, Pat Lusk, Fred Graff, Cheap Joe Miller, Frank Webb and Laurie Goldstein-Warren, Chris Krupinski, and Alvaro Castegnet. I am involved in several groups, including the past President of Beckley Art Group and a signature member of West Virginia Watercolor Society, where I'm currently the President. I teach classes at Beckley Art Center and Cedar Lakes in Ripley.
Awards: Best of Show and Purchase Award Carnegie Hall Season of Color 2011 for "Coal Tipple Memories" - Best of Show Beckley Art Group 2006 for "Poppies in the Morning" - West Virginia Watercolor Society 2018 Honorable Mention for "New Orleans", 2016 Honorable Mention for "Pink Peonies", 2006 Honorable Mention for "Mom's Iris's", 2003 Merit Award for "Sunflowers".
Shows: Tamarack exhibits in 2015, 2017, 2018, and 2019 - 2014 Natural Wonder Show with "Mountains of Pocahontas Co" - 2013 Best of West Virginia Show with "Farrier" - 2013 Colorwheel and 2012 Oh Appalachian with "WV Stream" - 2008 and 2009 Best of West Virginia Show - Painting of deer chosen for WV Wildlife Calendar 2005.
Rita: I am a native to West Virginia and have taught art for 34 years at Princeton Senior High School in Mercer County. Presently, I am an adjunct instructor of watercolor and metalsmithing at Concord University. I am a signature member of the Georgia Watercolor Society, Kentucky Watercolor Society, Southern Watercolor Society, West Virginia Watercolor Society and Juried Artist/Allied Artist of West Virginia. Locally, I am represented by Brainerd Gallery and Gary Bowling’s House of Art in Bluefield, West Virginia. My paintings are also featured at Studio Pipestem located in Pipestem State Park in Pipestem, West Virginia and at Tamarack in Beckley, West Virginia. I feel fortunate that I live in the beautiful state of West Virginia and have been able to work at what I love, both as an art teacher and an artist/artisan.
Awards: Allied Artists of West Virginia - Georgia Watercolor Society National Exhibition - Kentucky Watercolor Society Aqueous Exhibition - Mountain State Arts and Crafts Fair Art Show, Ripely, WV - Orange County National Watercolor Exhibition, New York, NY - Rhododendron State Outdoor Arts & Crafts Fair, Charleston, WV - River Cities Second Annual Exhibition, Cereda, WV - Southern Watercolor Society Exhibition - Virginia Beach Boardwalk Art Show - Virginia Highlands Festival, Abingdon, VA.
West Virginia Watercolor Society One Person Shows: The Bronze Look Gallery, Princeton, WV - The Chuck Mathena Center, Princeton, WV - The Art Depot, Abingdon, VA - Ghent Gallery, Norfolk, VA - Inter-American Development Bank Gallery, Washington, D.C. - Alexander Fine Arts Center Gallery, Athens, WV - Paint Box Gallery, Beckley, WV - Herbert Gallery, Bluefield State College, Bluefield, WV - Paine Gallery, Arts and Crafts Center, Bluefield, WV - High Country Gallery, Lewisburg, WV - Pulaski Art Center, Pulaski, VA - Lexington Guild Gallery, Lexington, NC - Carnegie Hall, Lewisburg, WV.
Deborah: I love painting the beauty of mature, whether its landscapes, birds, or flowers. My favorite medium is watercolor, but I also paint in oils and acrylics. I like to keep my paintings spontaneous, with lots of color, and I always paint the light and shadows.
Rita: My paintings reflect a personal relationship with my environment either at home in the mountains of West Virginia or in my travels. My many sketches and photographs provide material for my watercolors/mixed media paintings, and have even influenced my jewelry designs. Whichever media I use, I work in a series starting with a representational theme and pushing it as far as I can in developing the concepts. I do not set a limit to the number in a series, just working it until it seems complete. Often a series will be revisited because I can’t release it or I have had an insight into a new compositional arrangement. Whichever media I use, I work in a series starting with a representational theme and pushing it as far as I can in developing the concepts. I do not set a limit to the number in a series, just working it until it seems complete. Often a series will be revisited because I can’t release it or I have had an insight into a new compositional arrangement. Mystic Intersection is part of a series of paintings about the mysterious Anasazi’s. Other paintings in the series have been about the cliff dwellings and the assent to the dwellings. Mystic Intersection is the valley floor. The painting is a mixed media watercolor with elements of acrylic and gold leaf.
*Rotunda may be closed during these hours for private events.