Marne Rizika was born in Boston, and as a teenager, spent several months a year living in England and Israel, and traveling within Europe. Influenced by her family’s keen interest in history and culture, she spent hours exploring major museums, galleries, cathedrals and historic properties.
As a young woman, Rizika became fascinated by the rich and diverse collections of paintings, sculpture and architecture, and first began to develop her visual vocabulary. In Israel, Rizika explored the ancient arts, archeological digs and holy sites, and encountered the incredible geological landscape of the Middle East. She also enrolled in ceramics classes at the Israel Museum, and continued her studies when she returned home at the Mudville Studio in Somerville, Massachusetts. Throughout these formative years, Rizika experimented with other mediums and materials, and studied figure drawing at the Massachusetts College of Art.
Rizika formalized her early interests and influences by majoring in art history at Syracuse University. After graduation, she traveled to Italy to study architecture and environmental design with the School’s Division of International Programs. Her time in Italy expanded her love of building design – both exterior and interior – and how structures relate to the spaces around them. She had the opportunity to immerse herself in the country’s wealth of Christian and Renaissance Art. Throughout this period, she continued to draw extensively and spent much of her time interpreting the interior spaces –arches, domes, loggias and other features – in charcoal, pen and ink, and brush.
In 1986, Rizika enrolled at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, committed to making original art. During this time she developed an affinity for painting, which led her to The Art Students League of New York. She further developed her visual sensibility by concentrating on landscape and still life painting under the mentorship of Peter Homitzky. Marne notes, “it was in Homitzky’s class at the New York Art Students League where I learned how to treat still life as landscape and landscape as still life, and to imbue the work with natural human qualities.”
Marne made her first forays into landscape painting in 1995, during visits to the wetlands and expansive farmlands of North Dakota. She also spent time in France and the Berkshires, further exploring still life and landscapes.
That same year she undertook her first drawings of the Big Dig, Boston’s massive public highway project formally known as “The Central Artery Tunnel Project.” The Big Dig became an on-going subject and, after living in New York and New Jersey for eleven years, she returned home to Boston in the fall of 2001.
Rizika is keenly interested in the way that structures define and redefine the urban and industrial landscape. Her fascination with transformation and reinvention is embodied in large-scale charcoal drawings of the Big Dig, the largest public highway project in U.S. history. As Rizika draws – surrounded by bridges, tunnels, highways and mechanical objects that transform the landscape – the changing light abstracts their shapes, shadows and the space around them, inspiring new and personal points of view. Through this work, Rizika invites viewers to experience her emotional and visual connection to the site and participate in the theatre of construction.
Three years later, inspired by structures of the Central Artery Tunnel Project, and the contrasting seasonal colors and light drenched landscape of Vermont, Marne returned to Manchester where she had visited years earlier. With almost a decade of creating art in mostly black and white on the construction sites of Boston, and inspired by her earlier North Dakota farmscape series, Marne indulged in color. Against this backdrop of mountains and pastoral landscapes, the Dorr family antique tractor collection became the subject of Marne’s artwork over the next 15 years. As a frequent visitor of Emerald Lake State Park, Merck Forest, and the Tractor Farm, Marne continued painting the geographically defined landscape, ground cover and transitory elements throughout the southern Vermont valley region.
Passionate about seeing the world, Marne visited Tanzania, Peru, the Amazon, Mexico, and continued to spend time in Europe, Israel, U.S. state and national parks. In these diverse places, she made sketches as reference points for future artwork. “I’ve been fortunate to have created lithographic prints of nature and landscape from the memories of many of these locations.”
Now, when Marne is in the States, she divides her time between where she loves to live and paint – Massachusetts and Vermont, and more recently, the Hudson River Valley in New York.
I am captivated with how to visually translate a grand sense of space and spiritual beauty. At the same time, I learned to anticipate the element of surprise — the appearance of wide boulevards, the twist and turns of alley ways opening up to a plaza, canals and streams, a stairway, a fountain, a sculpture.
The distorted sense of scale and perspective in my drawings, paintings and prints developed out of my experience of landscape and architecture, natural and human-made: the immense space of the Grand Canyon; the sheer cliffs of Canyon de Chelly; trucks and equipment disappearing over rolling hills or emerging on the horizon of North Dakota farms — where judging the closeness of a storm is … immeasurable.
In my travels to Europe and Israel, and later while studying architecture in Italy, I became enamored of landscapes characterized by weathering tectonic plates and inscapes of the vast spaces and archways of cathedrals housing artistic treasures.
And here in New England, the experience of light and color shift with the changing seasons, manipulating familiar scenic views, mountains and open spaces, quiet ponds and wetlands; all reflect a living synthesis of people and place.
Moved by past experiences and work, I continue exploring color and a unique blend of natural and created formations.
The Art Students League of New York, NY
The School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, 1986-1988
Division of International Programs Abroad, Syracuse University, Italy, 1986
Syracuse University, BA, Art History, 1986
2018 Blue Hill Arts and Cultural Center, Pearl River, NY
2017 Southern Vermont Art Center, Manchester, VT, Winter Membership Exhibition
2017 Wood Block Building Exhibition, Hoosick Falls, NY, Civicure Fundraiser
2014 Holiday Designer Show House, Marc Bordet Interiors, Van Millwork, Needham, MA
2013 Barbara and Steven Grossman Gallery, SMFA, Boston, Works on Paper
2011 Barbara and Steven Grossman Gallery, SMFA, Boston, Works on Paper
2007 City Without Walls, Newark, NJ
2005 Logan Airport, Boston, MA
2005 Boston City Hall, 375 Views of Boston, Boston, MA
2005 Daniel Webster Estate, Designer Show House, Marc Bordet Interiors, Marshfield, MA
2005 Boston Arts Festival, Boston, MA
2005 Arlington Arts Festival, Boston, MA
2005 Concord Art Association, Concord, MA
2005 Brookline Arts Festival, Brookline, MA
2003 The New England Institute of Art, Brookline, MA
2003 Whistler House Museum, Homage to James McNeill Whistler, Lowell, MA
2003 Boston Architectural Center, Boston MA
2002 The Society of Mechanical Engineers, Cambridge, MA
2002 Lowell Spinners Ball Park, Lowell, MA
2002 Art in the Park, Artists Group of Charlestown, Charlestown, MA
Awarded First Prize by Suffolk University, Artspace Maynard, Maynard, MA
1999 Jersey City Community Gallery, Jersey City, NJ
1998 The Tomasulo Gallery, Dead Life Talking, Cranford, NJ
1998 The Waterside Gallery, West Stockbridge, MA
1997 Judi Rotenberg Gallery, Boston, MA
1997 Cambridge Art Association, Cambridge, MA
1997 Igor Trout Gallery, New Rochelle, NY
1997-1990 The Art Students League of New York, New York, NY
1996 Marino Gallery, Millburn, NJ
1996 Francesca Anderson Gallery, Boston, MA
1986-1988 The School of The Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
2006 Southern Vermont Art Center, Manchester, VT
2005 Artspace Gallery, Boston and Beyond: City in Transition, Maynard, MA
2005 Governor Dummer Academy, Site to Sight: Boston’s Big Dig, Byfield, MA
2004 Boston Architectural Center, Boston, MA
2003 John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse, Site to Sight: Boston’s Big Dig, Boston, MA
2003 Acton Library, Site to Sight: Boston’s Big Dig, Acton, MA
2003 Newton Free Library, Newton Center, MA
2002 John Joseph Moakley United States Courthouse, Site to Sight: Boston’s Big Dig, Boston, MA
2002 International Conference on Complex Systems, New England Complex Systems Institute
2001 The Dean’s Gallery, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA
2001 The Boston Center for Adult Education,
The Big Dig, Boston, MA – 40 works included in BCAE permanent collection
2000 Barry Gallery, Marymount University, Solo Show: Selected Works, Arlington,VA
1998 South Orange Gallery, South Orange, NJ
1996 Serendipity Gallery, Geneva, Switzerland
2012 Amazon and Machu Picchu Trip
Produced drawings used as reference for lithographs.
2010 Africa Trip to Tanzania
Produced group of lithographs based on drawings and paintings from Tanzania, exhibited prints at the Grossman Gallery, SMFA, Boston.
2009 World Trade Center Mural Competition
Produced drawings over 4-month period highlighting Lower Manhattan for competition with the Port Authority of NY/NJ. After 8 months, The Port Authority withdrew the competition.
2008 Jackson, WY
Landscape painting over 7-week period.
2008-2007 Mexico Travels
Travelled extensively throughout Mexico and produced etchings related to work on the Big Dig at the studio of Gerardo Ruiz.
Contemporary Artist Center, North Adams, MA
Painting and experimental printing techniques.
Painting and drawing in Paris and Normandy.
Devils Lake, ND
Painting. Slide lectures of my work at the University of North Dakota, Lake Region.
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA
Instructor for drawing in the Museum’s galleries on Wednesday nights; set up model and provided materials.
Col-Art America, Winsor & Newton Technical Trainer
Traveled to colleges and universities throughout New England teaching art materials usage; discussed pigments, color-mixing, mediums and techniques of painting through demonstrations and lectures.
University of North Dakota, Lake Region, ND
Lecture and Seminars
Museum of Transportation, Brookline, MA
Participated in public school programs teaching inventions. Traveled to elementary schools throughout the area and with an educational video, class discussion and hands-on participation, we created inventions with recycled materials from the Children’s Museum of Boston.
Huntington Family Center, Syracuse, NY
Taught drawing to children of all ages.
Stux Gallery, Boston, MA
Assisted in operations of gallery.
Everson Museum, Syracuse, NY
Cataloged ceramic collection, worked with curator and registrar.
I am so very appreciative of the talent and expertise of dear friend, graphic designer, Board Member, teacher and colleague, Christine Amisano and her contributions to this website. We have worked together over the past 20 years on projects beginning with the Boston Center for Adult Education where we met in 2000. We collaborated together with Journeyman Press to produce an exquisite calendar of The Big Dig and other printed material.
I would like to especially thank long-time friend and Editor Betsy Cohen, Owner of O.O.P.S. for her support, encouragement, and help.
With appreciation and thanks, I’d like to acknowledge Graphic Designer Karen Lawson-Chipman for her design expertise and guidance on accompanying printed materials, Web Designer Lisa Tarrant with producing this website, Robin Samora and David Javich for their time and support.
With gratitude, I thank family and friends, fellow artists and teachers for their encouragement and support.