Rhonda Urdang

British born surrealist painter and novelist Leonora Carrington said, "I warn you, I refuse to be an object." Born in rural Lancashire, England, and educated by governesses, tutors, and nuns -- she was expelled by two schools for her rebellious behavior. After her crushing break-up with German surrealist Max Ernst, she settled in Mexico City in 1942, where she lived and worked until her death in 2011 at the age of 94. While seemingly the ideal muse for numerous prominent men of the surrealist movement, she rejected that position. 

Carrington was quoted as saying, "I didn't have time to be anyone's muse, I was too busy rebelling against my family and learning to be an artist." In London, Leonora met and fell in love with Max Ernst, who was 26 years her senior and married. With the outbreak of World War II, he was arrested for making degenerate art and imprisoned in Nazi camps. She fell into deep emotional distress and was later taken to an institution and tortured by Dr. Morales at an asylum in Spain. 

My original artwork research is Lady Standing at a Virginal, oil on canvas, 20.3" H x 17.7" W, Johannes Vermeer, c. 1670-72. Location: National Gallery, London. With my feminist spin, I've reimagined revolutionary Leonora Carrington who was also a founding member of the Women's Liberation movement in Mexico during the 1970s. She was fascinated by cultural artifacts which decorated her living quarters, including the long black glove belonging to fellow artist Frida Kahlo.

RHONDA URDANG (nee Thomas, US, b. NE) is an independent studio artist working across multiple disciplines who has been making and exhibiting her artwork since 1970. She has had a varied and interesting career. Rhonda received her BFA in painting from the University of Nebraska-Omaha and worked as a journeyman color separation artist on high-fashion catalogs in the graphic arts industry in Phoenix. Since founding Flagstaff Feminist Art Studio, she has worked primarily in mixed media collage, digital manipulation, book art, femmage, painting and satire. Since leaving academia, the patriarchy, and pseudoscience behind (some things are folktales or misbelief), her ingenuity has flourished. Her thought-provoking pieces have been shown extensively in regional, national and international shows in 40 states. Rhonda's visionary artwork responds to historical & world events, when painting and the female artist have been diminished, silenced, marginalized, and erased. She gains visual pleasure from unraveling the feminine mystique while peeling away layers of buried eidetic memory in her innovative art practice. 

Human, civil, and worker's rights have been vital social issues since an early age. More recently, she's been exploring the aristocracy, multi-ethnic, Afropunk identities of Paris & London, and racial dynamics in intersectional modern culture -- and has been reviving and reimagining neoclassical portraiture in a subconscious effort to bring about reparative justice and collective healing. Rhonda is interested in making contemporary art that challenges the narrative and wants to discover how art can be used to envision new forms of race and representation freed from the bounds of historic racial constraints. She has lived in Northern Arizona for 3 decades. Her work is informed by the people, place, and color palette of her surroundings, and by her personal life experiences. Some womyn are lost in the fire while others are built from it.