Saskia is a painter and curator from New Orleans, La. She has mounted 15 solo exhibitions, and numerous group exhibitions in cities including New Orleans, Boston, Philadelphia, New York, Moscow, and St. Petersburg, Russia. Her area of focus in research is Realism in visual art and its intersection with perception and/or gender. She holds an MFA from the Museum School of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, and trained with painters including Sidney Goodman, Bo Bartlett, Vincent Desiderio, Nelson Shenks, Bruce Samuelson as well as others through direct artistic lineage of Thomas Eakins.
Research as an independent curator includes a two-year project at the Louisiana State Archives in Baton Rouge as Curator of Fine Arts for the exhibition 40 Days and 40 Nights, Exploring the Resiliency of Louisiana’s Visual Artists After Katrina; as Chief Curator for Winter Sun, Multi- Media Exhibition at Café Russe of the Ritz- Carlton in Moscow, Russia, 2015, and as Chief Curator and Juror for Persephone’s Garden, Images Inspired by Femininity and Its Transformative Creative Power. Her Most recent project was as Chief Curator for Responsorial: the Contemporary Dialectics of Misogyny, at New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts.
Publications authored include Realism, Classicism, and the Feminist Voice,” chosen for publication in the conference proceedings of the 2012 Representational Art Conference of 2012; regular contributions to the New Orleans Art Review from 2005-2008, and Art Voices Magazine from 2007-2008. Recent publications and presentations include Representational Art Conference and Figurative Art Convention, in Miami where she presented “Contrapposto and the Techctonics of Gender; “and the London Center for Interdisciplinary Studies’ conference on Slavonic and East European Studies where she presented “Beyond the Path of the Peredvishniki, Exploring Intersections in Manner, Means, and Method between Russian and American Realist Painting.”
Saskia has taught at Boston University, where she developed a writing and research seminar on the visual arts entitled Boston’s Museums, Art Collections, and Artists, from 2010-2013, at Merrimac College in Andover MA, and currently teaches at Tulane University, the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, and Loyola University where she is also the Gallery Director of The Loyola University Diboll Gallery.
Saskia’s next solo exhibition of paintings is scheduled for October 2020.
- Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, Drawing and Painting, 2003. Museum School of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts
- Four Year Certificate of Fine Arts, Drawing and Painting 2001. Museum School of the Pennslyvania Academy of Fine Arts
- Four Year Certificate of Fine Arts, Drawing and Painting, 1997, New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts
- Semester Abroad Traveling Scholarship Plein Air Painting Cathedrals of Europe (Cresson Travelling Scholarship) 2000.
- One year of Study With Master Icon Painter In Moscow Russia on Tradition, Meaning, Practice, Construction, and “Writing” Of Russian Icons.
- Semester Abroad, Latvian Academy of Fine Arts, 1997, Riga, Latvia
- Adjunct Assistant Professor, Tulane University. Autumn 2017, Spring 2018, Spring 2019 Beginning Painting, Beginning Drawing.
- Drawing, Art Collections Management Instructor, Loyola University, 2018-2019
- Instructor, New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts. Spring 2017-the present. Beginning Painting, Materials and Techniques of Oil Painting, Introduction to Drawing, Drawing the Antique.
- Lecturer, Boston University. College of Arts and Sciences, Autumn 2010-Autumn 2012. Writing and Research Seminar: Boston’s Museums, Art Collections, and Artists.
- Lecturer, Merrimac College, Department of Visual Studies. Drawing I. 2012 (Massachussetts)
- Foundations Instructor, New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, 2003-2008. Beginning Drawing, Beginning Painting, Beginning Figure Drawing, Beginning Figure Painting, Beginning Figure sculpture in clay.
- Sabbatical Replacement, Loyola University, Painting I, 2008
- Visiting Artist and Painting Instructor, N.O.C.C.A., 2008
- Museum Education Instructor, Museum of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. 1998-2001.
- Teaching Assistant, Museum School of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, 2001-2002
- Teaching Assistant, Fleisher Memorial School of Art, 2001. (Philadelphia)
- Visiting Artist and Lecturer, Friends-Select School, 2002. (Philadelphia)
Research, Presentations, and Peer Reviewed Publications Authored
- Xico Greenwald; Paintings-On the Table. Exhibition catalogue essay as sole curator. Loyola University Diboll Gallery.
- Beyond the Path of the Peredvishniki: An Examination of Realist painting Techniquebetween Ilya Repin, Thomas Eakins, and John Singer Sargent. An Investigation into Similarities of Manner, Means, and Method that Places Russian Realist Painting in Direct Action with Criteria for Technique and Theory that Structure American Realist Painting. Paper accepted for forthcoming peer reviewed publication of conference proceedings and presented at the London Center for Interdisciplinary Studies’ Conference on Slavonic and East European Studies. June, 2018. London, UK.
- Contrapposto and the Techtonics of Gender. Paper accepted for forthcoming peer reviewed publication of Conference Proceedings and presented at The Representational Art Conference and Figurative Art Convention. November 2017, Miami.
- Classicism, Feminism, and Realism: Re-Framing the Boundaries of Representation. Paper presented and published in Conference Proceedings of the Representational Art Conference 2012, “The Real Snake: Conference Proceedings of the Representational Art Conference, 2012” Ed. Michael Pearce, Phd.
- From Portraiture to Poetics, Deconstructing the Figure as Motif. Lecture by invitation in Conjunction with my exhibit of the same name. St. Botolph Club, Boston. 2012
- The Silent Song: The Role of the Visual Arts in Maintaining Cultural Identity of Latvia, Paper for presentation at the Association for the Advancement of Baltic Studies Conference, Chicago, Ill. 2012.
Art Reviews Authored
- Lin Emery: Ruminations; Arthur Roger Gallery, New Orleans, LA. March 3-April 28, 2018. SECAC Short Exhibition Reviews, Online. April , 2018. org
- Treasures from the New Bedford Whaling Museum. St Botolph Club Bulletin, Autumn, 2012
- Are You There? Jane Goldman and Helen Meyrowitz. St. Botolph Club Bulletin, 2012
- The Dialectics of Impropriety; Breaking Ground for Southern Women Through Satire. Art Voices Magazine, June, 2008
- The Art of Observation: New Work by Phil Sandusky. New Orleans Art Review
- Interior New Orleans, Through a Glass Softly, The Genre of the Interior as Explored by Sandra Burshell, Art Voices Magazine, May 2008
- Seeking Higher Ground, Rodrigue Retrospective at the New Orleans Museum of Art. Art Voices Magazine, April 2008.
- The Furtive Veil, New Work by Kate Samworth at Le Mieux Gallery. Art Voices Magazine. February 2008
- Jose Torres Tama, Explorations in Portraiture of Free Men of Color at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art. Art Voices Magazine, March, 2008.
- Navigating Idioms in a Questionable Rennaissance, New Orleans Art Review, Feb-March 2007
- Schema vs. Form in Imagery. New Orleans Art Review. 2007
- Gallery Walk I, New Orleans Art Review, 2007
- Gallery Walk II, New Orleans Art Review, 2006-2007
- Gallery Walk, New Orleans Art Review, Oct-November 2006
- State of the Art, Voix du Vieux, issue 5, 2006
- State of the Art, Voix du Vieux, issue 4, 2006
Publications About or Containing Images of My Paintings
- Yurieva, Tatiana, “The Universe of Saskia,” Curator’s Statement for Solo Exhibition, Boundaries, Diaghilev Museum of Contemporary Art, November 2014, St. Petersburg, Russia.
- Bonner, Judith, “Art Principles Revived,” New Orleans Art Review. Fall/Winter 2013
- Frank, Sabine, Rosen Liebhaberinnen, Elizabeth SandmannVerlag, Munchen, 2012. Pp 118
- Boston University CAS Writing Journal, (WR 4) 2012, Cover image. Ars Longa, Vita Brevis. Oil on Panel, Eubanks, S. 2011
- Martha’s Vinyard Times, Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts at Louisa Gould Gallery. August 30, 2012
- Baird, Julian, Transcendances and Symbiosis: The Human Spirit and Nature. Saskia Eubanks, Painter and Allison Newsome, Sculpture. Exhibition Catalogue, St. Botolph Club, Boston, MA 2012
- Bayle, Lisette. One Alumna’s Inspiring Artistic Aspirations, The Bridge, Quarterly Publication of the Academy of the Sacred Heart, New Orleans.
- All the Same Words Don’t Go Away: Essays on Authors, Heroes, Aesthetics, and Stage Adaptations from the Russian Tradition, Cover Image, Eubanks, Saskia (View of Neva River with Storm Clouds and St. Isaacs Cathedral oil on panel, 2010)
- Bookhardt, Eric. Academic Pursuits, Saskia Ozols Eubanks at Soren-Christensen Gallery. Gambit Weekly, September 2007.
- Rhinehardt, Natalie. Art Review: Saskia Ozols Eubanks. New Orleans Art Review, Fall 2007
- “La: The State We’re In.” Interview on Louisiana Public Broadcasting by Donna Le Fleur, Senior Director. Air Date: August 8, 2008
- Listed as one of Top Ten New Orleans Artists, Art Voices Magazine, June 2008
- “After the Flood,” by Robin Miller, The Baton Rouge Advocate, August 3, 2008
- “40 Days and 40 Nights,” Karen Kingsley, Louisiana Cultural Vistas, Spring 2008
- Bookhardt, Eric. Saskia Ozols at Chaos Gallery, Gambit Weekly, 1993
Curatorial and Administrative Experience:
- Gallery Director, Curator; Loyola University Diboll Art Gallery, Spring 2019-present
- Chief Curator, Responsorial: The Second Sex and the Contemporary Dialectics of Misogyny. Forthcoming Exhibition for the Academy Gallries of the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, Opening September 2018
- Chief Curator, Winter Sun, Multi- Media Exhibition, Café Russe of the Ritz-Carlton, Moscow, Russia. 2015
- Chief Curator and Juror. Persephone’s Garden, Images Inspired by Femininity and Its Transformative Creative Power. Annual Exhibition of the International Wome’s Club of Moscow. March, 2015, Moscow, Russia.
- Chief Curator, Luba Kostenko’s Musicians. In Conjunction with the Educational Bridge Project Uniting Creativity between Boston and St. Petersburg, Exhibition hosted by Massachussetts Institute of Technology, Center for Theoretical Physics, October, 2010.
- Curator of Fine Arts, 40 Days and 40 Nights Exhibit, Hosted by the Louisiana State Archives. 2006-2008
- Assistant Curator, New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts. 2005-2008
- Exhibitions Preparator, New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, 2003-2005
- Gallery Assistant, New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, 1991-2003
- Gallery Assistant, Chuck Moore Gallery, 1999-2000. Philadelphia
- Gallery Assistant, Claire Oliver Fine Art, 2000-2001. Philadelphia
- Gallery Assistant, Carmen Lewellyn Gallery, 1992-1993, New Orleans
Solo Exhibitions of Paintings Authored
- Passages, Soren-Christensen Gallery, October 2017. New Orleans
- Boundaries, Diaghilev Museum of Contemporary Art at the Smolny Institute of St. Petersburg University, St. Petersburg, Russia, November 2014
- Binate Entities, Soren-Christensen Gallery, 2013, New Orleans
- Oceanus, Artist’s House Gallery, Gallery 2, Feb. 2013, Philadelphia
- From Portraiture to Poetics: Deconstructing the Figure as Motif. Part of Symbiosis and Transcendance, Curated by Julian Baird, Phd. April 2012, St. Botolph Club, Boston.
- The Bridges of the Charles River and Beyond, Plein Air in Boston and Cambridge. Botolph Club Conservatory, Boston, 2012.
- The Seven Deadly Sins, Artist’s House Gallery, Gallery 2, May 2010. Philadelphia
- Metamorphoses, Soren-Christensen Gallery, 2009. New Orleans
- Poesis, Soren-Christensen Gallery, 2007, New Orleans
- Hiding Place, New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, 2004
- Wish vs. Fear, Artist’s House Gallery, Gallery 1, 2003, Philadelphia
- Shroud, Artist’s House Gallery, Gallery 3, 2002. Philadelphia
- Plein-Air Sketches From Europe, Artist’s House, 2001, Philadelphia
- Dont.Come.Down. Chaos Gallery, 1994, New Orleans
Group Exhibitions of Paintings Authored
- Faculty Exhibition, 2016-2018, New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts
- The Dog Show, Studio Inferno, December 2016. New Orleans
- Speak to Me, National Gallery of the Caymen Islands. 2016
- National Juried Exhibition, National Arts Club, 2013. New York.
- Invitational Exhibition, Cape Cod Museum of Art, 2012
- Invitational Exhibition, Gowanus Ballroom, 2012 Brooklyn, New York
- Invitational Group Exhibitions, Artists House Gallery 2000-2013 Philadelphia
- Invitational Group and Juried Exhibitions, Copley Society of Art 2009-2013. Boston
- Invitational Group Exhibitions, New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts 1995-2018
- Landscape Invitational, Louisa Gould Gallery, Martha’s Vinyard, MA 2012
- Four Person Exhibition, Soo Rye Gallery, 2011, New Hampshire
- Spain, Juried Exhibition by Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, at the Arts First Festival of Harvard University. Boston, 2011
- Holy, Invitational Exhibition, Brickbottom Gallery, Somerville, MA 2009
- Historic Interpretation, Contemporary Artists Interpret the Historic Collection. Peabody Historical Society and Museum, Peabody, MA. 2009
- 146th Annual Exhibition, National Juried. Philadelphia Sketch Club, 2009.
- Mythological Renderings, Interpreting Myths and Legends Through Art. Curated by George Shackleford, Curator of Modern Art Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. Brickbottom Gallery, Somerville, MA. 2009
- People, Places, and Things, In Conjunction with Salem Film Festival, Salem, MA
- MFA Thesis Exhibition, Museum of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts 2003
- Annual Student Exhibition, Museum of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts,
- Annual Student Exhibition, New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, 1994
Past Board and Elected Committee Memberships
- American Women’s Organization of Moscow, Fundraising Chair 2015-2016
- International Women’s Club of Moscow, Art Exhibitions Chair, 2015-2016
- Copley Society of Art, Elections Committee, 2012-2013, Boston
- Botolph Club, Board of Govornors, Art Committee, 2011-2013. Boston
- New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, Board, 2003-2008
I see painting as a meditation: an exploration of relationships I encounter through observation and experience. I find greatest inspiration working from nature; considering innate dualities as they move through varied passages of color, meaning, and form. The resulting images reflect the search for beauty as a journey through the fluidity of perception, the passing of time, and the structure of change.
I have been painting my entire life. I began apprenticeship in classical technique when I was 5 years old. By the time I was nine I was assisting with all the details of preparation, creation and presentation of artwork. Many of my early foundational experiences growing up as the child of an artist made a significant impact on every professional and educational choice I have made. What follows is a brief outline of experiences in the art world that made an impact on me and which are not addressed in my bio.
I learned to put words together properly, roller skate, and hold a paintbrush in the expansive magazine street space my parents christened as the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts in 1978. I watched painting demonstrations, drawing marathons, and artist’s lively discussions. I watched every easel, drawing bench and palette being designed, sketched, and hand built or carved by my father, the Academy’s Founding Director. He wanted everything to be perfect from ideology and curricula to the smallest detail of design.
Throughout my childhood I assisted with exhibition installation, planning and prep. I held hammers and offered nails, I swept the floor, and I arranged flowers for the exhibitions with my maternal grandmother. I was dropped off in the studios after school immediately following carpool and listened under the eaves as I attempted to do homework during the life drawing classes.
My first job was gallery sitting and answering questions about the classes and the sacred ideology of realism as my family presented it. Ideas handed down from teacher to student directly from the birthplace of American realist painting: The Museum of the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. My fluency with these techniques grew as reality materialized on canvases throughout my early childhood.
In A. Ozols’ studio on Girod street I washed brushes and stretched canvases, melted rabbit skin glue, varnished pictures, served cocktails, played on the etching press, and practiced painting. I watched and assisted with enormous murals, mixed colors, ground pigment by hand. I learned to wake up before dawn to arrive for plein air landscape so that we would witness the first rays of sun break the darkness.
In 1992 I began to apprentice in art conservation at a local French Quarter studio. I continued my study in a private AIC listed studio. I worked in both studios for a total of 5 years and added significantly to my understanding of oil painting technique and its history. I learned techniques for preserving, repairing and properly maintaining all structures associated with oil paintings and antique frames. Re-lining, stretching, surfaces preparation, recipes for glue, bole, processes for guilding, creating moulds, hand carving. I learned documentation and research (then done from the original Benezit books only published in French,) condition reporting, and collections management.
My first solo exhibition was reviewed in the local paper. I took my first art writing and research position creating wall text for works loaned by the Museum in an exhibit that demonstrated a pedagogical relationship with the ideals and mission of noafa.
I entered the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1997 to refine my approaches and learn from the source. I completed the historic four year studio program in Drawing and Painting, and completed a Master’s Degree in Fine Arts, Painting and Drawing. I worked my way through college in Philadelphia galleries and Museums. I won the historic Cresson European travelling scholarship. I travelled Europe with a paint box and no cell phone visiting all the major museums and doing plein air paintings of the cathedrals of Europe.
In 2000, I returned to Philadelphia and exhibited the cathedral paintings in my first Philadelphia exhibition in historic Old City. This gallery represented me until they closed almost 15 years later. After finishing graduate school I moved back to New Orleans in 2003 and developed and taught a series of classes at the Academy. I wrote curricula for and taught Beginning Drawing, Beginning Oil Painting, Beginning Figure Drawing, Beginning Figure Painting, and Beginning Figure Sculpture. I began to write as an art critic for local publications. When I left I was asked to find my replacements and share my original syllabi with them.
In 2008 I moved to Boston and began teaching at Boston University. I became involved with historic arts organizations I still feel fortunate to have been a part of. I was an active member of the Copley Society of Art where I exhibited for the entire duration I lived there, from 2008-2013. I was invited to sit on the Board and the Art Committee of the St. Botolph Club where I also had two exhibitions of my own work in 2012.
I moved to Moscow in 2013 immediately following the opening of a solo exhibition of new paintings in the Arts district of New Orleans. This Julia street gallery represented me from 2007-2017. I lived there for three years and I continued curation projects and had my first solo museum exhibit at the Diaghilev Museum of Contemporary Art in St. Petersburg, Russia.
In New Orleans again in 2016, I began teaching at Tulane University (Painting and Drawing) , Loyola University Drawing, Painting, Art Collections Management, New Orleans Museums, Art Collections and Artists,) and back at NOAFA (Materials and Techniques of Oil Painting, Introduction to Drawing, Figure Drawing, and Drawing the Antique: NOAFA at NOMA.) All syllabi are original and based on my own research.
Being back in New Orleans has instilled me with a sense of gratitude for the valuable cultural resources I grew up with and re- invigorated my desire to preserve them. The techniques, processes and pedagogy of painting are my first language and have woven themselves throughout my very being.
Excerpt from “Art Principles Revived”, Saskia Ozols Eubanks at Soren-Christensen Gallery. Written By Judith Bonner, Senior curator at the New Orleans Historic Collection. Published by the New Orleans Art Review, winter issue, 2013.(October/November/December 2013, pp. 16-18)
SASKIA OZOLS EUBANKS Søren Christensen Gallery New Orleans, LA
“UPON ENTERING SASKIA Ozols Eubanks’ exhibition at the Søren Christensen Gallery, the visitor will be delighted to observe her overall understanding and usage of the elements and principles of art throughout her artworks. Eubanks, who trained at the New Orleans Academy of Fine Arts, earned an M.F.A. at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, receiving solid instruction in both institutions. She uses the spectrum of artistic elements—line, shape, form, space, texture, value, and color—to her advantage. Eubanks’ works in this exhibition, although minimalist in some respects, are evident. More encouraging is her subtle employment of the principles of art: balance, emphasis, movement, pattern, repetition, proportion, rhythm, variety, and unity. The full range of elements was often deliberately ignored in minimalist works through the mid-20th century. Its reappearance in art of the past couple of decades is reassuring, and especially in this exhibition.
Eubanks has mastered the full run of traditional subjects: portraits, figure studies, landscapes, marine scenes, genre scenes, animal studies, and still lifes. Several paintings focus on mythology or the evolution or dissolution of living creatures, particular human beings. Eubanks mastery of anatomy in human figures, animals, and architectural structures is evident immediately in these paintings. Her bravura brushwork reveals an artist secure in her skills. Her paintings, without exception, are harmonious and well balanced….“
Read full review: Excerpt from Curator’s Statement by Tatiana Yurieva, Director of the Diaghilev Museum of Contemporary Art.
“Saskia explores fresh psychological reality with a particularly artistic flair, but more importantly she contemplates the internal world of the person within the person. Her paintings are replete with symbolic codes; she has mastered fundamental mythological and biblical themes, which she renders beautifully as archetypes that populate her life…”
Read full review: Published in Gambit Weekly, Written by Eric D. Bookhardt September 17, 2017
“The word “academic” can be treacherous when applied to art. In fact, academic art owes much of its problematic reputation to the Academy des Beaux-Arts in Paris, a fabled institution that held much of the art world in a death grip for centuries. Ranging from the lush neoclassicism of Ingres to the later 19th century romanticism of Delacroix and Bouguereau, academic artists stressed realistic technique, the more spectacular the better. Many also played to the crowd with bourgeois sentimentalism, which in the hands of a skilled yet sappy painter such as Bouguereau, resulted in a monumental sort of kitsch more sickening than a supertanker of saccharine.
In America, the academic epicenter was the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, a Philadelphia institution associated with such durable 19th century realists as Thomas Eakins and William Merritt Chase, painters whose cool circumspection astutely avoided most kitschy excess. It was, in fact, the Pennsylvania Academy that inspired painter Auseklis Ozols to found the New Orleans Academy of Fine Art in 1978. Since then, his NOAFA has reliably turned out accomplished artists, the best of whom transcend the pitfalls of the genre. Academic realism is challenging not just because it requires a high level of craft, but also because a related tendency to sometime overwork surfaces yields a technical polish that can seem lifeless or inert. Or as Cab Calloway so famously put it, “it don’t mean a thing if it ain’t got that swing.”
Two distinct approaches that avoid such pitfalls appear in the work of two artists who teach at the Academy but are showing elsewhere this month. Of late, Saskia Ozols has emerged as a painter skilled in academic techniques yet unafraid to take chances, as we see in her Poesis expo at Sören Christensen, where her treatment of the female form is sometimes more monumental than one might expect. “
Read full review.
Excerpt; From Gambit Weekly, written by Eric D. Bookhardt 2007 “…Unlike traditional academic nudes…this sort of works as a hybrid of classicism and neo-expressionism in a limbo where Thomas Eakins meets Susan Rothenberg. Similar tactics appear in Fight or Flight, a large painting of a horse that recalls Eakins’ animal locomotion studies set in a romantic charcoal fog — one of the most successful pieces in this promising if still somewhat experimental series.”
Read full review.