Ellen Orseck

 

ARTIST STATEMENT

 

 "Whether I am painting fully clothed figures floating underwater, abstractions of stormy weather or sumo wrestler dolls immersed in chocolate cake, my subjects are characters in a narrative. At times grave and at times beautiful, the subjects are selected to evoke different responses to life, to illuminate, or to call to mind human emotions.

 

 I am fascinated by depicting objects that normally do not belong together or by changing the scale of the elements in an artwork so that some characters in the painting are large and others are small; as if two universes combine. The incongruity between the unrelated or the unexpected fascinates me because it changes meaning, it’s where surprising relationships form.

 

 The sumo paintings reference indulgence. Storm subjected artworks are inspired by living in Oklahoma, being obsessed with The Wizard of Oz and surviving hurricanes (Katrina, Rita and Ike). When my father died, I began painting images of people underwater – not swimming or playing in the water, but submerged, fully dressed and floating. I will continue to explore the incongruity of beauty and sorrow and the disconnection and interconnections between people and nature."

 

 

 

BIOGRAPHY

 

 Houston-based artist Ellen Orseck paints images of figures submerged in water, sumo wrestlers immersed in food, abstractions of creation, space, and turbulent weather. Her underwater series “Liquified” was displayed in a solo show at Nicole Longnecker Gallery in Houston. “Submerged” was displayed at 80 Washington Square East Gallery in New York City, at Nauhaus Gallery and the Texas Collaborative Space in Houston. Orseck’s paintings of tornados were selected to represent Texas artists at the National Museum in Lima, Peru, as well as in Houston’s City Hall. She presented a solo exhibit of portraits of creative Texans in “Made in Texas” at Bering and James Gallery in Houston

and her “Storms, Sumos and Sweets,” presented a view of sumo wrestlers, desserts and tornados at The University of Houston/Downtown O’Kane Gallery.

 

Throughout her career, Orseck has earned public arts commissions from state arts councils, corporate collectors and private patrons in Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland. Her largest public commission was a mural awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. From a group of 1,600 Texas artists, Orseck was selected as one of the 105 finalists for The Hunting Prize. Her watercolor designs were used to create Torah covers for Congregation Brith Shalom in Houston and her artwork has been featured at the Jewish Community Center in Houston for exhibits that focus on the High Holy Days.

 

She earned her Master’s Degree in Painting from New York University, which included one semester in Venice, Italy, and two in New York City. As an undergraduate, Orseck studied painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and earned a Masters Degree in Museum Education at George Washington University. Her post- graduate education also included four years at The Glassell School of Art.

 

Describing her most recent artwork Orseck said, “Whether I am painting fully clothed figures floating underwater or sumo wrestler dolls immersed in chocolate cake, my subjects are characters in a narrative. At times grave and at times beautiful, the subjects are selected to evoke different responses to life, to illuminate, or to call to mind human emotions.”

 

Orseck is an art instructor at Rice University Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies and Watercolor Art Society Houston. She is represented by the Nicole Longnecker Gallery in Houston, and works from her studio at 2101 Winter Street.

 

 

CORPORATE AND PUBLIC COLLECTIONS

 

Congregation Brith Shalom

Frostburg State University

George Washington University

Lyondell Corporation

Montgomery College, The Woodlands,

Houston Municipal District Services, Cypress, Texas

The University of Houston, Downtown

 

AWARDS & PROJECTS

 

2014

Lecturer, John Singer Sargent, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

 

2013

Conversations with the Angel of Death, Congregation Brith Shalom

 

2013

Juror, Watercolor Art Society of Houston

 

2012

Hunting Prize Finalist, Hunting Oil

 

2012

Texas Contemporary Art Fair

 

2012

The Sktechbook Project, Brooklyn Art Library,

New York City, International Traveling Exhibit

 

2012

Mural Commission, The Aranda Residence, Bellaire, Texas

 

2012

Art Tour Lecturer, Lucian Freud and Dale Chihuly Exhibitions, Dallas and Ft. Worth

 

2012

Art History Lecture, Six Jewish Artists,

National Council of Jewish Women

 

2011

Christmas Card Design, St. Agnes Academy, Houston

 

2004-14

Torah Cover Commissions, Congregation Brith Shalom, Bellaire

 

1986

Mural Commission, Cupolas, Dallas

 

1984

Mitchell A. Wilder Award,

Excellence In Publishing Design, Dallas Museum of Art

 

1981

Mural Commission, Brady Heights Neighborhood,

Arts and Humanities Council of Tulsa, OK

 

1976

Mural Commissions, George Washington University,

Marvin Center, Madison Hall, Housing Office, Washington, D.C.

 

1975

National Endowment for the Arts, Individual Artists Grant

Mural Project-Public Works, Baltimore, Maryland

 

1974

Mural Commission, Student Center, Administrative Offices, Frostburg State University, Maryland

 

EDUCATION

 

2007-2009

Masters in Studio Art, Painting,

New York University, Venice, Italy, and New York City

 

2000-2004

Advanced Painting and Printmaking, T

he Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

 

1975-1976

Masters of Arts in Teaching, Museum Education,

George Washington University, D.C.

 

1970-1974

Bachelor of Fine Arts,

Frostburg State University, Maryland

 

1972-1973

Maryland Institute College of Art, Baltimore, – One Year at

MICA and Mural Apprenticeship

 

CURATORIAL, EDITORIAL & WRITING

 

2014

Houston Chronicle, "Earth Matters," Molly Gentzler

 

2014

The Glasscock School News, Keri Bas,

"Learning to See Differently," February

 

2013

Art Slant

 

2013

Houston Modern Luxury

 

2013

Jewish Herald-Voice, Aaron Howard, "Houston Painter Brings Us To The Edge," July 11

 

2013

Jewish Herald-Voice, Aaron Howard, "Casual Conversations with the Angel of Death, " Sept 26

 

2009

Jewish Herald-Voice, Aaron Howard, "Two Questions of Ellen Orseck,"

 

2007

Houston Press, Sean Carroll, Capsule Art Reviews

 

2006

Essayist, Broken Brushes:

German Art From the Kaiser to Hitler by Gus Kopriva

 

2006

Curator, A Prelude to Sculpture, Strake Jesuit Art Museum, Houston

 

2003-05

Curator,Strake Jesuit Art Museum, Houston

 

2003

Curator, How Modern Art Escaped Hitler,

Holocaust Museum Houston

 

1997-03

Curator, Holocaust Museum Houston

 

1994-96

Senior Editor, Southwest Art Magazine

 

1988-92

Feature Writer, Museum and Arts Magazine,

Art Lies, Texas Star, Jewish Herald-Voice

 

1982-85

Director of Outreach, Dallas Museum if Art

 

TEACHING EXPERIENCE

 

2011-present

Art Instructor, The Glassell School of Art,

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

 

2011-present

Art Instructor, Susanne M. Glasscock School of Continuing Studies, Rice University

 

2011-2013

Houston Art Instructor, Watercolor Art Society Houston

 

2011

Adjunct Professor of Art, University of Houston, Downtown

 

2005-2011

Art Instructor, St. Agnes Academy, Houston

 

2003-2009

Private Art Instructor, The Houston Foundry,

Winter Street Studios.

 

1982-1985

Art Historian, Lectures, Education Department,

Dallas Museum of Art

 

SOLO EXHIBITIONS &
SOLO STUDIO PRESENTATIONS

2014

Liquified,

Nicole Longnecker Gallery, Houston

 

2013

Visual Arts Alliance, Studio Visit,

Winter Street Studios, Houston

 

2013

Looking at Art, Studio Visit,

Winter Street Studios, Houston

 

2010

Submerged, Texas Collaborative Projects, Houston.

Curators: Dan Allison and Kelly Moran

 

2007

Storms, Sumos and Sweets, O’Kane Gallery,

University of Houston, Downtown.

Curator: Mark Cervenka

 

2007

Made in Texas, Bering and James Gallery, Houston.

Curator: Austin James

 

2004

About Face: Exploring Human Expression,

Montgomery College, The Woodlands, Texas.

Curator: Robbie Woods

 

TWO-PERSON EXHIBITIONS

 

2014

Earth Matters,

Nicole Longnecker Gallery, Houston

 

2003

Reflections of Hotel Life,

Omni Hotel, Houston

 

GROUP EXHIBITIONS

 

2015

Abstracting the Round,

Carolyn Garcia Gallery, Houston

 

2014

Creation or Evolution: The Artists’ Journey,

Carolyn Garcia Gallery, Houston

 

2014

Woodland’s Gala Trust, The Woodland’s Texas

 

2013

Caution: Live Snakes, Mother Dog Studios, Houston.

Curator: John Runnels

 

2013

Bird Brained, Mother Dog Studios, Houston.

Curator: John Runnels

 

2013

Haunted, Spring Street, Stark Naked Theater.

Curator:  Dianne Webb

 

2013

Soul:  The Artist at Work, Winter Street Studios.

Curator:  Janet Roe

 

2013

Nocturnal Landscape, Rotunda Art Gallery, Houston

 

2013

Finding Self:  An All Woman Art Show, Spring Street,

Stark Naked Theater.

Curator:  Dianne Webb

 

2013

From O to Z: Wizard of Oz Oztravaganza,

Hardy and Nance Street Studios, Houston

 

2012

Wade Wilson Inaugural Show, Santa Fe, NM

 

2012

Impressions Print Show, Wade Wilson Art, Houston

 

2012

Dog Park, Gallery G, Houston

 

2012

Figures in a Life, Carolyn Garcia Gallery, Houston

 

2011

The Big Show, Lawndale Art Center

 

2011

New Texas Talent, Craighead Green Gallery, Dallas.

Curators:  Kenneth Craighead and Steve Green

 

2011

It’s Raining Cats and Dogs, Mother Dog Studios, Houston.

Curator: John Runnels

 

2010

Four Dimensions, Vaughan Christopher Gallery, Houston.

Curator: Ginger Wright

 

2010

Summer Swim, Nauhaus Gallery, Houston,

Curator: Dan Allison

 

2009

Showcase Houston, Deutser Gallery, Houston,

Curator: Marilyn Hassid

 

2009

Submerged, Master Thesis Show NYU,

Washington Square East Galleries, NYC.

Curators: Ruth Newman and Kirby Gookin

 

2009

Through the Looking Glass,

Glassell School of Art, Museum of Fine Arts.

Curators:  Joe Havel and Steve Smith

 

2008

Teacher Edition, O’Kane Gallery, University of Houston Downtown.

Curator:  Mark Cervenka

 

2008        Texas, Bering and James Gallery, Houston.

Curator: Austin James

 

2007

The Monotype Exhibition, Museum of Printing History, Houston.

Curator:  Patrick Masterson

 

2007

Cinco, Bering and James Gallery, Houston.

Curator: Austin James

 

2007

Amistad, Texas Artists in Peru, Museo de la Nacion, Lima, Peru.

Curator: Gus Kopriva

 

2007

Works in Progress, Universita luav di Venezia, Italy.

New York University.

Curator: Maurizio Pellegrin

 

2006

Texas Artist Invitational, North Harris College.

Curator: Professor Gary M. Conners

 

2005

Clean Slate, G Gallery, Houston.

Curator: Wayne Gilbert

 

2005

Texas National,

Stephen F. Austin State University, Nacogdoches, Texas.

Curator: James Surls

 

2005

Project Storm: Hurricane Relief Benefit. Project Row Houses.

Curator: Apama Mackey, Mackey Gallery

 

2005

Everybody Art Show Us Your Feminism, University of Houston.

Curators: Terrie Sultan, Michelle Barnes, Lynn Randolph

 

2005

Back Room, Gallery DIG, Houston.

Curator: Wayne Gilbert

 

2004

Municipal Arts Commission, City Hall, Houston,

Curator: Gus Kopriva

 

2004

Vistas and Visions, Houston Foundry,

Curator: Lynn Wexler

 

2004

The Ten Plagues Invitational, Deutser Gallery, Houston, Texas,

Curator: Jennifer Handy

 

2004

Assistance League Celebrates Texas Art, Williams Tower, Houston,

Curator: Jennifer Gross, Yale Contemporary Art Museum

 

2004

Showcase Houston, Deutser Gallery, Houston,

Curator: Miriam Kogan

 

2003

Soft Frequency Hardware, Gallery 101, Houston,

Curator: Wayne Gilbert

 

2003

Box Show, Mind Puddles Gallery/Bering & James Gallery Houston,

Curator: Austin James

 

2003

Free for All, Steve Martin Gallery New Orleans, Louisiana,

Curator: Steve Martin

 

2002

 The National Small Oil Painting Exhibition,

The Wichita Center for the Arts, Wichita,Kansas,

Curator: Edmund P. Pillsbury

 

2002

The Art of Living, ArtScan Gallery, Houston,

Curator: Greg Donner

 

2002

Humid: Hot, Sweet and Sticky, Lubbock, Texas

Curators: Gus Kopriva and Wayne Gilbert

 

2002-05

Annual Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)

Retablos Show, Lawndale Art Center,Houston

 

2001

The Big Show, Lawndale Art Center Houston,

Curator: Annette DiMeo Carlozzi

 

2001

Visual Arts Alliance Exhibition, Allen Center III Houston, Curator: Clint Willour

 

2001

Soul Journeys, The CG Jung Center Houston,

Curator: Linda Peyton Huff

 

 

 

2625 Colquitt Street   ||    Houston, TX 77098  ||    346-800-2780

© 2017 Nicole Longnecker Gallery. All rights reserved.

Would you like to receive emails about our events? Subscribe here.