Featured Artist: Roslyn Rose
By Tatiana Lopez and Cynthia Kwarula
Roslyn Rose is an award winning internationally exhibiting artist. She was a nationally known etcher before becoming intrigued with computer-manipulated montages. Even though Photography is her main inspiration, she enjoys exploring different techniques of fine art to create her appealing collages.
Roslyn uses the contemporary virtual darkroom to integrate fleeting images from life and imagination. The original pictures used for these digital montages include slides, photographs, and found pictures. She scans the images into the computer, manipulates the colors and content, and then combines them into original artworks. Imagination inspires a fantasy context for each scenario suggesting myths, the past, or the future. These montages speak to the spectator, allowing viewers to blend their own imagination with the illusions she presents.
Exhibitions include the Noyes Museum, Oceanville, NJ; Hoboken Historical Museum, Hoboken, NJ; Sommerville Art Museum, Sommerville, MA; Ceres Gallery, New York, NY; George Segal Gallery at Montclair State University, Montclair, NJ; A.I.R. Gallery, New York, NY; J. Wayne Stark Galleries, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX; and more. Awards include Best in Show at the International Society of Experimental Artists; First Prize-Innovative Art at GoggleWorks Center for the arts and many more.
Her work is in the collections of many museums and corporations including the Vorhees-Zimmerli Museum, Rutgers University, Noyes Museum and the McAllen International Museum in Texas.
Roslyn Rose is a founder of hob’art co-operative gallery located in Hoboken, NJ, a Nautilus Member of the International Society of Experimental Artists and an exhibiting artist of the National Association of Women Artists.
When did you decide to become a professional artist?
“I cannot tell you exactly when, but what inspired it. I created a picture of a robin, which was posted on the classroom bulletin board and then my mother’s refrigerator. The teacher said you are going to be an artist. I didn’t even know what the word meant but I said okay! I have never stopped.”
How do you go about beginning a new body of work?
“I really love the technique of making art, and I have used many mediums. I was an etcher for about 15 years. That was when my sales were best, because I worked with decorators and art consultants. I did have to design artworks that matched the decor and were easy to produce in quantity. Eventually I retired from commercial design and concentrated on Assemblages, Collages, and now Photographic Montages.”
What is your most recent work about and what materials did you use?
“A recent group of work I have produced is called ‘Elements in Balance.’ Each picture is composed of four or more images to illustrate fire, water, earth, and air. Many of the pictures used were space photographs from NASA, however the ‘Air’ print is composed of five photos looking east from my front window towards the New York skyline. I manipulated the colors in Photoshop and stacked the prints in layers to produce a hazy dawn view.”
How did these materials affect your concept and image?
“What I enjoy doing is combining my pictures with found pictures. When I visit different areas I search for photographs in collectable stores. All the images are stored as a visual library on my computer and integrated to fit a particular theme.”
Do you sometimes work in a variety of materials and mediums?
“I like the technique of making art, so I combine my images with found and vintage pictures by scanning and manipulating them in Photoshop. That’s what I’ve been doing for the last 10 years.”
Do you have a separate studio and what is your routine like? Do you work every day or in spurts? Do you work with an assistant or with an outside lab or atelier?
“I have two studios. The one we are now in I use for the framing, shipping, and storing of my finished prints. At home I have a completely technical studio which includes a scanner, computers, printers, etc. As I am a night person, I prefer to be at home when inspiration keeps me working into the wee hours. I am not really a routine person it’s usually more like what has to be done first. Sometimes my personal creating has to wait while I fulfill my duties as the Public Relations Chair of the hob’art gallery. Then there are the inevitable calls to Apple about computer technical problems or Adobe about the latest Photoshop updates. I have always been a technical person. In High School I was the only girl in the Technical Club. We worked the projection box with that housed the old movie cameras that had large reels.”
What artists influence your work? Can you describe their affect on your work?
“At one point my favorite was Joseph Cornell, because he did collages and assemblages which I was doing for a while. I guess now, I feel more original or more self reliant but I don’t find a particular artist that I think of when I’m doing my art.”
Who or what helped you the most in your work?
“Good question. Both my family and my husband were always very supportive. In fact that was one of the deals when my husband proposed. Before I said yes. I said was not going to be your ordinary housewife. Be prepared.”
How well do you manage staying aware of trends in the art world? Do you spend time in museums and galleries, talking/reading about current exhibits?
I am in Manhattan a lot and I like going to museums and galleries. I represented by the Ceres Gallery in Chelsea, which is a feminist gallery. When I go there it is easy to see what is down the street, what is on the next block, etc. So I do keep up with it. I am a devoted reader of Art News magazine, The New York Times art pages and so on.
Does living/working in Hudson County influence your work in any specific way? How?
“I guess one of the things that influenced my work is that I became very involved in the history of Hoboken. Both my husband and I are history fans and we have always wanted to know the early stories about where we lived. We joined the Hoboken Historical museum, when it was in its infancy. That was about the same time we moved here, about 28 years ago. Hoboken had our 150 anniversary in 2005 just when I started to become more involved in photography and Hoboken was changing quickly. I was aiming my camera all over Hoboken to capture the ‘original’ city. The Hoboken Historical Museum invited me to have exhibitions of my images in 2006 and 2012. Recently I have been attracted to images of Hoboken storefronts because they provoked a memory of the old doll repair store I visited when I was a child, where I became intrigued with the collection of discarded doll parts. I decided to fill the windows of my stores with portions of dolls or manikins. I have continued with the theme investigating different seasons, eras, and light. The business are always closed due to time of day or economic changes.”
What’s the best-kept secret in the arts scene in Hudson County?
“I think we are doing our best to encourage out all the artists.When I moved to Hoboken in 1985, it was cutting edge and there were many buildings where you could get cheap studios and apartments. I remember the first open studio tour I was involved with had 200 open studios. Nowadays, our cultural director has trouble getting 100 artists even offering spaces to people from outside of Hoboken. We’ve lost so many good artists because of the cost of living here. Yet there are new galleries opening in both Hoboken and Jersey City. Unfortunately most Manhattan collectors have not discovered them yet.”
Roslyn Rose is a fine artist and photographer residing in Hoboken, New Jersey. You can see Roslyn Rose’s work at www.roslynrose.com and contact her at rrose@roslynrose.com