One of the more than 60 artists listed in the Bellefonte Art Museum’s registry is Alyce Ritti. Here is her statement:
Today I cut, paste and layer (I create collages) with diverse materials often non-art (that is "mixed-media).
Legends and literature of Western civilization inform my response to Robin Goodfellow's comment in Shakespeares' Midsummers Night Dream. "What fools these mortals be." It is a way to deal with daily life.
The small and satirical, sometimes sympathetic, images are one acts in the "theatre of the absurd." They are meant to start a conversation with you. Always good looking, some might even make you chuckle. That is the success I want but they have been successful too with prizes and sales and with national and international as well as local recognition.
My girlhood joy in making art was interrupted for two reasons.
One is practical: higher education (including a PhD from Columbia) and marriage and the family (four grown children, one husband for 56 years so far ).
The second is emotional. An art teacher, acting like a 1950's social worker loudly humiliated me in class for drawing human figures (in dancers' tights) instead of painting flowers like nice girls should. To this day I do not paint flowers. My "botanicals" are of other plants—weeds, for instance. And I do figures and faces. My paintings and drawings from the recent past have been successful. But the theatrical collages have taken over.
American influences are Romeare Bearden and Joseph Cornell. European influences are perhaps stronger because like them I make social commentary. They are Hannah Hoch, Kurt Schwitters, Pablo Picasso, along with surrealists like Max Ernst.
The" recent past" began when we moved to ridge-side in Halfmoon Township in 1981. The view demanded "Paint Me." So landscape it was for several years. It also led me back to school at the School of Visual Art at Penn State. I did not need another degree but I did get excellent guidance and experience. The landscapes moved inside to become mindscapes and eventually my theatrical collages.
My first collage exhibits were with The International Pig Mail Art group centered in Belgium and touring Central Europe. Then with the international group Art Addiction they were seen on-line often and physically in Stockholm and Venice. The membership card gave me free entrance to such important museums as the Louvre.
The most important group shows were with the international Alliance of Women Artists. The president was a French woman who came to the United States after World War II. In Paris she had been a Young Artist of the Year winning a studio visit from Picasso. We exhibited in many galleries and associations in Paris and also in Rome, Oslo and Montreal. In Oslo we were at the Rathaus. On my own I had pieces in some Salon d'Automne shows.
AWA U.S. shows were in the San Francicso Bay Area and in Manhattan at the Salmagundi club.
The AWA show at Galerie Everarts in Paris led to my publishing two articles.. "Exhibiting Abroad: the French Connection" in the national magazine Art Calendar and "A Worrier Goes to Paris" in the Centre Daily Times. ("The Social Functions of Children's Speech," an article from my dissertation was published in the International Journal of Communication.) I have written about the arts in several other publications, too. My work is in Diane Maurer's Assemblage, Collage and Altered Art and in volumes I and II of Georgette Owens' International Women Artists.
My "bios" have appeared several times in the Marquis Who' s Who and many times in its Who's Who of American Women. The International Biographic Center in England often included me and awarded me a Certificate of Fine Arts.
Solo shows include "Cutting Comments" at Studio Z in the Southside of Pittsburgh. It garnered good reviews in print and on-line. I had a First Prize Solo Show at The Stage Gallery in Merrick, New York. Recent local solo shows have been at Schlow Library, Websters, the State Theatre, Foxdale, Centre Stage downtown and at the Elk Creek Cafe in Millheim.
My collages have been in many juried shows and even won some prizes. Recently, In Artists In our Midst in Altoona at Southern Alleghenies Museum of Art, "Eve's Theatre Fantasy" won a Juror's Mention. The SAMA Loretto branch purchased my "Pride" collage from a Biennial for their permanent collection. Woman Made Gallery in Chicago purchased one of my collages and also put one, "Gluttony," in their annual datebook.
My collages are usually in the SAMA biennials, sometimes in Art of the State in Harrisburg, and sometimes in Images (CPFA), usually in the Blair County Arts Festival and in the AACP shows at the Art Center in Lemont.
I have been an artist in residence for the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts administered by SAMA Altoona. I was an accessible artist and an artist in action for the CPFA along with committee work and an art juror for other organizations. My experience includes being executive secretary and editor for the Art Alliance. I also was "field manual coordinator" for a project with the National Endowments for the Arts. My teaching experience includes speech as well as several kinds of art.
Right now the characters in my images tell me that they still have a lot to say and want to say it with paper cut-outs, feathers, netting, glitter, old tickets, jewelry, beads, yarn, ribbon and so on. That list is endless. So is the challenge.
My web-site is artalliance pa.org/AlyceRitti.htm
The Bellefonte Art Museum celebrates the human spirit through the arts, recognizing the importance of art in our lives. In 2011, the museum experienced a large increase in attendance, private donations and membership and completed refurbishing the historic Linn House. The museum opened three new galleries: the Children’s Creativity Center, the Anna Wagner Keichline Gallery and the new Louise Bloom Sieg Gallery. The museum is opened Friday through Sunday from 1 to 4:30 p.m. Phone 814.355.4280.