About the Artist
In my work I seek to see life in a deeper way, to see the invisible qualities, the ever-changing atmosphere, capturing a moment in time. Seeing is something you feel, experience and study, requiring a sustained and persistent focus. My mentor Edward Loper, Sr. once said, “Looking and actually seeing are not the same thing. Seeing is a learned thing. It’s not a natural instinct, and once you’ve learned to see, the world will never look the same to you.” My goal is to show the viewer something they cannot see with their own eyes. I am inspired by the French Post-Impressionist plein air painters, and the natural beautify surrounding me, whether it’s in the rugged mountains of Europe or a remote drumming village in West Africa.
EDUCATION Michelle René’s formal education includes a Masters of Fine Art in Visual Communications from George Washington University and a Bachelor of Science in Art Education from Skidmore College. She completed additional studies at Pratt Institute, Rhode Island School of Design, Corcoran College of Art and Design, United Digital Artists in New York, and and The Adobe Max Creativity Conference. Her artist residencies include in-depth artistic studies in West Africa, Canada, France, Italy, and Spain. For 15 years, she studied oil painting in the Brandywine Valley under her mentor, the late great master painter, Edward Loper, Sr.
CAREER Michelle René is an award winning art director who began her career as a designer and illustrator for over 35 Time-Life Books. She became the first Black Promotion Art Director for Sports Illustrated magazine here she designed and art directed promotional materials for the 1984 and 1988 Olympics, NBA, U.S. Open, Kentucky Derby, World Series, NCCA, Indy 500, and the SuperBowl. Michelle René then launched her own graphic design firm in New York City which included the following clients; CBS, Bell Atlantic, Citibank, Time-Warner, Tony Brown’s Journal, United Negro College Fund, The Washington Post, National Council of Negro Women, Black Student Fund, Obama For America Campaign, Arthur Ashe Foundation, Yolanda Adams, The Black Student Fund, Terrie Williams Agency, and Wynton Marsalis. After leaving New York, she served as the Communications Director for Sanford School in Delaware, where she designed major fund raising campaign materials, a bi-monthly magazine, and all the campus signage. She was also an animator of the feature length film, Raggedy Anne and Andy. She is currently serving her 6th term with the College Board as one of the 137 AP Studio Art Readers worldwide. Two of Michelle Rene’s paintings were recently acquired by the DC Commission on the Arts for their permanent Art Bank Collection.
EDUCATOR Michelle René has taught art and design at the university and high school level for over 20 years including launching the first computer graphics program at University of Maryland. She also taught art and design at University of Delaware, Montgomery College of Visual Art and Design, Delaware College of Art & Design, and Lincoln University, The Studio Museum in Harlem, Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City and The Smithsonian Associates. Michelle René is currently the Chair of the Studio Art Department at Georgetown Day School in Washington, DC.
Art Safari, West Africa
Quebec City, Canada
Les Tapies, France
El Bruc, Spain
Martha’s Vineyard, MA