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From Marian to ArtPrize: Rosanne Coty ’85 Shares Artistic Vision

"Art motivates, inspires, and encourages us to view the world through a different lens," says Rosanne Coty '85, a talented local artist whose career has spanned across the United States.

Her role as an artist extends beyond the canvas, aiming to promote creativity and connect individuals on a deeper level. Recently featured in ArtPrize 2023, an 18-day Grand Rapids festival uniting artists from around the world, Rosanne reflects on the impact of her Marian High School years and the profound stories woven into her captivating creations.

Rosanne's artistic passion ignited in her youth, sparked by the allure of coloring books and the vibrant hues of Crayola crayons. She fondly recalls drawing with her mother and discovering her innate talent for self-expression through art. Winning grade school drawing contests kindled her competitive spirit, motivating her to further refine her skills. 

Her time at Marian played a pivotal role in shaping her artistic journey. Rosanne acknowledges the invaluable guidance of her art instructors, particularly Mrs. Fisher and Ms. Bianchi, who nurtured her love for various art mediums and emphasized the significance of drawing from life. Under their tutelage, she not only honed her skills but also expanded her artistry to new mediums, experimenting with pottery, plaster casting, and even screen printing Field Day t-shirts throughout her four years. "Marian prepared me well, and my skills set me apart," Rosanne affirms. 

Rosanne's dedication and talent garnered recognition through prestigious awards, including the coveted Scholastic Art Gold Key. Her pen and ink cross-hatch drawing in college earned her a spot in the Society of Illustrators Design Annual in New York City, a remarkable achievement for any aspiring artist. 

Throughout her artistic journey, Rosanne remained grounded in her faith and grateful for her family's unwavering support. She challenges the misconception that artists are "naturally talented," instead emphasizing the importance of hard work, commitment, and perseverance in any career, particularly in the realm of art.

As a versatile artist, designer, and photographer, Rosanne aspires to create thought-provoking works that evoke powerful emotional responses. Her art often explores themes of interconnectedness and growth, drawing inspiration from the natural world and the parallels it shares with personal narratives.

"Sharing my art with others is something I look forward to," Rosanne reveals. "I enjoy delivering it, witnessing the viewer's reaction, and engaging in discussions. I love it when my art moves someone to tears. That may sound unusual, but evoking such a profound emotional response is incredibly satisfying. Observing intense quiet contemplation, hearty laughter, or spontaneous exclamations is truly incredible. And occasionally, I embed hidden elements to reward a thoughtful viewer." 

One of Rosanne's most poignant series, the "Bottle Series," emerged from a deeply personal experience. Following the loss of her prematurely born daughter, she sought solace and inspiration in the interplay of light through colorful bottles in her home. "I saw shapes in their overlap," she explains. "I had not painted for a while, and I felt inspired. The resulting painting marked a breakthrough as I moved away from realism, painting what I felt in my heart and soul rather than what met my eyes. It became a therapeutic release of emotions." 

Another captivating collection, "Perception V Reality," delves into the concept of concealed inner emotions, particularly within women's lives. Rosanne's reflective table and her daughter's diverse reflections became a metaphor for exploring the complexities of human emotions and the beauty concealed beneath the surface.

Rosanne's creative process reflects her dedication and innovation. "I trust in the evolution of a piece," she shares. "I challenge myself and take risks, knowing that some elements can be painted over. Serendipitous accidents often enhance my projects." 

For budding artists, Rosanne offers valuable advice: embrace the fundamentals, draw from life, and fearlessly explore new styles. Embrace both successes and failures as part of the learning journey. Above all, savor the artistic adventure. 

Learn more about Rosanne and view here work: 

  • Alumnae
  • Arts