Featured Artist: Emily Rich

Featured Artist: Emily Rich


A Passionate Artist – Native New-Yorker.

Realizing the importance of personal pursuits – a life of service to others.

They say with age comes awareness.  I have come to appreciate how that helps shape VALUES in my life.  This definition, of course, is always changing and improving which makes me optimistic for what may be in-store.  Not unlike many people, I struggle to balance a career of work and my relationships with my personal pursuits.  Often times wondering how to connect every day routine to meaning and purpose in our very complex world.  In reflection, I am often frustrated by impatience or pursuits that seem forced or inauthentic.  Yet sometimes through the mental madness, a spark.  I wanted to share my story of meeting Emily Rich.  This story is on-going and certainly not final has all the elements of the formula for authenticity I was seeking:  service to people, love of art, organizing a legacy of work that will live on beyond our days, as well as improving living conditions for a wonderful person. Let me tell you about Emily

Three years ago, a friend and I journeyed to New York to visit family. We met up with some friends at the Chelsea Market. There was an eclectic lady quietly sitting at the same table as us. She was actively listening, but initially minding her own business. Before long, we all starting exchanging background stories and, after food, wine, and laughter, we went to the lady’s apartment to see and hear about her art.

The experience stuck with me, not only because I purchased a few pieces of her art (they were good), but also because the shift in Emily’s energy when talking about her art was quite obvious. It was as if her candle was burning brighter as she endlessly went through piece after piece, explaining the stories of her life summarized in these beautiful works of art. At that point, they became even more special to me. The memory and her life- just how different from mine it must have been, stayed with me.  After a few more visits into town and many phone conversations about life, it became clear how I could help Emily.  I am starting by organizing her art into a catalogue and trying to connect the pieces to people through more modern means, all in effort to find the right homes for her artwork and create space in her apartment for her to be able to keep painting.  These are two things she feels strongly about.


Emily Rich was born and raised in New York City.  What I find remarkable to her story, is that survival of a life as an artist in New York.  Of course with many, many colorful anecdotes throughout. While her work is inclusive of very specific periods of time, the result is a body of work that tells the stories of her life. It is certainly reflective of just how colorful and interesting it has been. Her experimentation with various mediums, vibrant use and combination of color, and playful manipulation of line work are very much a reflection of her personality through her art.

Picture by Bernice Sokol Kramer from show at the High Line- self portrait

Emily began her career as a fashion illustrator after graduating the NY High School of Art and Design. She was able to study under teachers Jack Potter, Minorou Kawabata, Bruce Dorfman, and Frederick Wong, all of whom she credits for the wonderful direction they provided.  During her time at the New York School, she was heavily influenced by abstract expressionism, particularly the works of Willem de Kooning. It was this exposure to form and color that solidified what she wanted to do, and has done, for the rest of her life. The love of color and energetic forms would become a theme throughout the rest of her work.  A large part of her body of work is inspired landscapes from her time spent every year at Fire Island with her late partner, Martin.  There are also moments of collage, photography, and watercolors.

Some original pieces by Rich – mediums and time period varies


To note: my time is all volunteer and very much in progress.  I am happy to report we have found homes for several pieces of Emily’s artwork, thank you. I have found the best way to support Emily and this effort is to purchase a piece of artwork.  The next steps would be to get the catalogues organized by periods of time and collection, document her life and stories of those times and eventually get a website for purchase online.

Follow these links to view images of Emily’s art work that you can purchase. To purchase, email your inquiry including the reference image number to emilyrichny@gmail.com.  We will follow up with dimensions on request with further details.  Thank you for taking the time, I hope you enjoy.