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Elizabeth Ennis

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New York City

Lives in
Berkeley, CA

Works in
Berkeley, CA


CCNY, 1971, BA
Lone Mountain College, 1978, MA
RISD (Rhode Island School of Design)

figurative, modern, surrealism, landscape, realism, Interiors, trains realism, dogs figurative, personal spiritual, Humanistic


Statement about the “In Transit” series of paintings

Getting from one place to another, the sense of motion, of being carried along, creates a suspension of time and within that hiatus the awareness of another journey taking place inwardly into memory and reflection. A subway tunnel becomes a dark background on which the play of life and light goes on. My paintings attempt to capture the isolation of people who are momentarily neither here nor there but moving through space. Surrounded by mass transit’s impersonal structures, people inhabit their own solitary inner worlds. Though traveling together, they often seem oblivious of those around them and unaware of the odd conjunctions that sometimes take place between them. The process of translation from photograph to painting is in itself a kind of journey. When one views a photograph the sense of a moment captured from a stream of time is paramount. Paradoxically, when I paint an image from a photograph I am involved in distilling and concentrating the essence of what I have seen. Exercising the formal values of color, light and composition are ways of removing the image from the flow of time and creating an archetypal and timeless space that we inhabit psychologically and sensually. In the process of using hand and eye, and avoiding mechanical reproduction, subtle changes occur that contribute to the power of the final image. My goal is to create an image that momentarily checks our ordinary awareness, arrests time, and causes us to dwell in the world of the painting.

Elizabeth Ennis 2012


Elizabeth Ennis grew up in the borough of Queens in New York City and attended one of its specialized public high schools, the High School of Music and Art. After graduating, she attended Rhode Island School of Design and received her BA from the City College of the City University of New York, and was elected to Phi Beta Kappa in 1971. She worked at the Betty Parsons Gallery with Betty Parsons and Jock Truman in 1971 and then moved to the Bay Area in the 1972. She worked as a jewelry designer until 1976 when she became interested in Art Therapy. She received a Masters Degree in Creative Arts Therapy from Lone Mountain College, San Francisco in 1978.

She began showing her art work in 1978 and had her first one person show at Rorick Gallery in San Francisco in 1984. Since then she has shown her work in several galleries in San Francisco and the greater Bay Area, mainly Barclay Simpson Gallery, Olga Dollar Gallery and Dorothy Weiss Gallery. Her work has been included in many juried and group shows. She was a member of the Emeryville Artists Collective from 1986 until 1996 and worked as a teacher for the Emeryville Youth Arts program. She also worked as an art specialist in The Oakland Arts Magnate School, and at Walden School.

While changing stylistically over the years, the developing visual language of her art has reflected her life and personal experience. Early gestural abstraction has gradually given way to to a realism tempered with spiritual overtones, as she attempts to reconcile opposites: inner and outer, nature and culture, personal and political. She continues to work as a painter and has recently been working with clay exploring figurative sculpture.



Rhode Island School of Design, 1966-1967.

City College of the City University of New York, New York City. B.A. Phi Beta Kappa,1971.

Lone Mountain College, San Francisco, CA. M.A. Creative Arts Therapy, 1978.


May 24th - July 5th, 2013 "Drawing " show,  ART Works Downtown, San Rafael, CA 


2012 "In Transit", Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter, Oakland, CA.

2011 "Running Free", Joseph P. Bort Metro Center, Oakland, CA.

2009 Thoreau Gallery, Thoreau Center for Sustainability , San Francisco, CA.

2006 Merced College Art Gallery, Merced, CA.

1990 Barclay Simpson Fine Arts Gallery, Lafayette, CA.


2008 "Go Figure: Working Together from a Model", Carl Cherry Center for the Arts, Carmel, CA.

2006 "Expressions West", Coos Art Museum, Coos Bay, OR.

2003 "Squares", Richmond Art Center, Richmond, CA.

2002 Berkeley Art Center, Berkeley CA.

1998 "Introductions", Dorothy Weiss Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

1994 "Nudes" Olga Dollar Gallery, San Francisco, CA.

1993 "Miniatures", Olga Dollar Gallery, San Francisco,CA.

1991 "Annual Holiday Show", Barclay Simpson Fine Arts Gallery, Lafayette, CA.

1990 ART/LA '90, International Contemporary Art Fair, Los Angeles, CA.

1990 Barclay Simpson Fine Arts Gallery, Lafayette, CA.

1990 ART/London '90, International Contemporary Art Fair, London, England.

1990 "Personal Mythologies and Poignant Moments", Hearst Art Gallery, St. Mary's College, Moraga, CA.


Alameda County Arts Council
Mr. William Church, San Francisco, CA.
Mrs. Betty Parsons, New York, NY
Mr. Christopher Troxler, Greensboro, NC.
Mr. and Mrs. Bruce Maximov, Oakland, CA.
Mr. and Mrs. Robert Gruener, Portland, OR.
Mr. James Graves and Mr. Mark Selfridge, San Francisco, CA.
Ms. Elyse Hudson, San Francisco, CA.
Mr. and Mrs. Barclay Simpson, Orinda, CA.
Mr. Doran Newhart, Lafayette, CA.
Mr. Tom Bye & Mr. David Bohne, Lafayette, CA.
Dr. Jonathan Barry, Orinda, CA.
Mr. and Mrs. Kenneth Ekman, Orinda, CA.
Mr. and Mrs. George Kirby, Santa Barbara, CA.
Mr. and Mrs. Harvey Teitzell, Los Angeles, CA.
Ms. Barbara Griffin, Danville, CA.
Mr. and Mrs. William Self, Orinda, CA.
Mr. and Mrs. William Carpenter, Minneapolis, MN.
Mr. and Mrs. David Brush, North Andover, MA.
Ms. Hollis Shumway, Colorado Springs, CO.
Mr. and Mrs. Stephen Wilson, San Francisco, CA.
Mr. and Mrs. Frederick Erickson, Pacific Pallisades, CA.


2011 Work Purchased by Alameda Arts Council
1991. Emeryville/Vladimir (USA/ Russia) Exchange Project.
2002. Juror's Award, Berkeley Art Center

Recent Exhibits

Elizabeth Ennis participated in these exhibits:

Apr, 2012 IN TRANSIT paintings by Elizabeth Ennis
Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter
Mar, 2011 Running Free: Celebrating Canine and Human Access to the East Bay Regional Parks
Joseph P. Bort MetroCenter
Dec, 2010 GREEN: Berkeley Art Center Members Showcase
Berkeley Art Center
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