Rita Michalenko received a B.F.A. Degree from Philadelphia College of Art (now the University of the Arts) and an M.F.A. from Tyler School of Art, Temple University. Rita is currently a tenured Full Professor of Art at Atlantic Cape Community College, where she teaches Ceramics, Drawing, traditional Crafts, Watercolor, Oil and Acrylic Painting, Color and 2-D Design, and Introduction to the Visual Arts.
In 2017, Rita received the 2017 Lindback Distinguished Teaching Award. Rita exhibits at numerous art spaces in Philadelphia and New Jersey including Wayne Art Center, The Clay Studio, The Clay College, Atlantic City Art Center, the Noyes Arts Garage of Stockton University, Stockton University Kramer Hall, the Noyes Museum of Art, Ocean City Art Center, Ocean City Fine Arts League, Rowan College, Hammonton Art Center, Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts, Cape May Art League, Devon Horse Show, Great Bay Gallery – Somers Point, Nashville North Studios, Gallery 50 – Bridgeton, NJ, the Society of Pastel Painters of New Jersey and the Philadelphia Pastel Society.
Rita has been a participant in the Annual Juried L.B.I Watercolor show and the nationally famous juried Miniature Show at Jane Law Gallery in Surf City, N.J. Rita also participated in the Annual Women Artists of Atlantic County show and the annual Ocean City Art Center Invitational Theme Show, Annual Ocean City Juried Art Show and the Printmaking Showcase. Rita has a personal art studio in Millville at the Riverfront Renaissance Center for the Arts, where she is an Associate Artist Member.
Rita lives on a small farm called “Weymouth Walk” in Atlantic County, New Jersey with her husband. They have miniature horses and various other livestock and pets such as dogs, cats, an assorted poultry and a parrot.
“Most of my work is based on plein air observations of rural life, presenting a sense of place and its inhabitants. These interpretations are recorded in a variety of media including pencil, pastel, watercolor, and oil painting, as well as clay, and book arts. More than mere notations, the works convey serenity and peace coupled with color and technique. It is my hope that these feelings are communicated to the viewer.
I enjoy theme shows held by local galleries – an assignment – it’s the teacher in me. Teaching has been a great way to share my love of art with others. I enjoy the outdoors, nature, animals and plein air painting. I consider myself a life-long student of the arts.”