Bess Rodriguez

Cleveland, Ohio

About Bess

Bess at work in her studio

  • B.A., Art History/International Relations, Johns Hopkins University and George Washington U.
  • B.F.A., Painting, George Washington U.
  • M.A., Art History, George Washington U.

Additional studies at the California College of Arts and Crafts, San Francisco
The Princeton Arts Council, Princeton, New Jersey
The Corcoran School of Art, Washington, D.C.
and the Cleveland Institute of Art

Paintings exhibited in juried shows across the Mid-Atlantic and Midwestern states and awards received include:

“Best in Show”; “First Place”; “Award of Excellence”.

Works have been exhibited in such venues as the U.S. Embassy in Tokyo, Japan; the homes of the U.S. Consul General in Paris, France and Mexico City, Mexico; University Hospital’s Humphrey Atrium gallery; the Beck Center for the Arts (Lakewood, Ohio); Georgetown University’s Medical Center; the Cleveland Institute of Art’s Reinberger gallery; the Ratner Museum (Bethesda, Maryland); Bonfoey gallery; Juma gallery (Little Italy, Shaker Heights).

Have taught drawing and painting privately and at public and private schools. Teaching students at the Cleveland School of the Arts, as an Artist-in-Residence, was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.

One of my most challenging commissions was a painting of University Hospital’s Lakeside Hospital. The image of this painting was used for the U.H. President’s first commissioned holiday card and the painting is now part of the U.H. permanent collection.

My work is in public and private collections, such as University Hospital, the Rainbow Babies’ Hospital, the Cleveland Art Association and in private collections in California, Florida, Maine, Martha’s Vineyard, New Jersey, New York, Maryland, Ohio, Texas, Virginia and Washington, D.C.


Artist’s Statement:

Wherever I have lived, from Japan to the Bay Area to the East Coast and the MidWest, I have culled together all these travels, myriad art classes and workshops and life experiences, some tragic, some inspiring, to create an eclectic and unique form of colorful expressionism.

I have focused primarily on landscapes, rural and urban. I am particularly fond of architecture. Influenced by my early years living in Mexico City, and by color theory classes taught by the President of the Princeton Arts Council, I developed a style of expressionism which was vibrant and impactful. Some who have viewed my paintings say they would like to step into them and live there. Others have told me that my works are “happy paintings”. This impulse of mine to create something that intrigues and captures one’s eye has grown in me.

In recent years, I created a series of floral paintings. These represent a more abstract form of nature-derived expressionism. And, lately, I have begun using a more muted palette to capture another time, a gentler more civil era. I am at heart a storyteller…who strives to communicate with kindred spirits…to share a transcendent moment…this all fuels my creative process.