THE MURSI AND THE SURMA
The Mursi and the Surma
Artist Rose Hill
Born in Paterson New Jersey in 1951, Rose has spent most of her adult life in the bay area, she discovered her passion for art in 1996 and has been painting on mostly ceramics ever since. Rose received national recognition in the fall of 1999 after appearing on the Oprah Winfrey show, and later her work was featured in “O” Magazine. Rose Stumbled across her artistic interest and talent over 20 years ago when she and her younger sister Maxine Jones a former member of the female R&B recording group En Vogue started an ethnic line of bath and skin care products in California. Rose has long collected retro African American artifacts and inspired by her collection, began sketching designs for her own label, she soon found herself hooked on painting the nostalgic images. Soon after opening their retail shop in Novato CA, a reporter wrote about some of her ceramic pieces and the other items sold in their store. It wasn’t long before Gayle King, well known as Oprah Winfrey’s best friend, commissioned Rose to paint a set of plates for Oprah. Rose is well aware that the images she paints can be painful reminders of oppression and abuse, however she insists although this imagery is controversial it is still a part of our culture. Lisa Woolfork, Assistant Professor of English at UVA says “In terms of literary and cultural study, there’s a tradition of black women artists trying to reclaim things that could be considered racist, It’s a commendable strategy to seize the reins of interpretation,” says Woolfork, “to put racists on notice that they don’t get to control the terms of conversation or inquiry of debate.” Rose agrees that her art can only be created by a black person, African Americans will never trust whites to do this imagery. Rose has recently returned to the bay area after spending 10 years in Charlottesville. VA where she became a resident artist at the McGuffey Art Center. During her time in Virginia Rose and a fellow artist friend, Lindsay Michie Eades created an art program for inmates that were incarcerated in the Central Virginia Penal system. They taught art classes in the local regional jail and in three different prisons to both male and female inmates, the art program was hugely successful and is the work she is most proud of.
THE ORDERING PROCESS and the items that are currently available will always appear on the home page. The website really is a gallery of items that I have painted and most of which has already sold. With that said there is always a chance that I can recreate an item that you may have fallen in love with so it never hurts to ask. There are items like “The Little Colored Girl” line that I will always replicate. “The Knotty Heads” line is another line that I will replicate. Then there are those items that cannot be duplicated. Custom orders for ceramics are available if the blank shapes are available from my suppliers.
We will contact you when Rosie opens the kilns
Please take note of our new contact information
Contact us at 434-465-1177 or 510-984-0422
Rose Hill Art Studio and Showroom
650 University Avenue
Berkeley, California 94710
Mon thru Fri 8:30am to 8pm pst.