Elizabeth Congdon was born in Connecticut in 1962 and moved to New York City with her family in 1970. Raised in the literary world of her parents, she spent her childhood surrounded by the arts and artists of all disciplines. Her love of painting grew during long visits in the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the other wonderful museums and galleries in NYC.
Congdon recieved her BA in Art from the University of California at Santa Cruz, taking her junior year to study painting in Florence at Studio Cecil- Graves with realists Charles Cecil and Daniel Graves. After a couple of years working in NYC's fashion business and travelling throughout India and Nepal, In 1989 Congdon attended Parsons School of Design's MFA Painting Program where her teachers were American Expressionists Paul Resika, John Helicker and Leland Bell. Inspired to paint, but not to finish the program, Congdon moved to Rhode Island and began her painting career there and in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
Congdon is best known for her plein-air landscapes and floral still life painting which she has exhibited across the country. For almost three decades Congdon has shown annually in Nantucket. First represented by the Main Street Gallery, then South Wharf Gallery, presently at Robert Foster Fine Art Gallery. She has taught at the Newport Art Museum where she had a large scale solo exhibition in 2014. She also co-founded the Jamestown Arts Center, where she has shown and taught since it's inception in 2005. Congdon teaches still life workshops at the Artists Association of Nantucket, as well.
Recently Congdon completed her MFA in Painting at the Laguna College of Art and Design, where she enjoyed deepening her understanding classical techniques of realism to achieve a more nuanced, individual contemporary narrative, and living in southern California. Her new figurative work and simplified still life reflect her thesis which explores the interplay between realism and imagination.
Laguna College of Art and Design, MFA in Painting with honors, 2018
Parson's School of Design, MFA Painting Program, one term ’89
University of California at Santa Cruz, B.A., ’85
Smith College Junior Year Abroad in Florence, ’83-’84
Fieldston School of Ethical Culture, High School graduate, 1981
Newport Art Museum, Ilgenfrtiz Gallery (May-August 2014)
Robert Foster Fine Arts 2011-2016
South Wharf Gallery, Nantucket MA (2001 - 2011)
Alliance Francais, Washington DC (2003)
Nicole Saul-Kogut Gallery, Potomac MD (2000, 2001)
Windows with a View, Newport RI (2002)
Main Street Gallery, Nantucket MA (1994 - 1997)
Jamestown Philomenian, Jamestown RI (1996, ’02, ’11)
City Hall, Lincoln Chaffee's Offices, Warwick RI (1993)
Veterans Hall, Providence, RI (1992)
Newport Juried Members Show (2000,2001, 2014)
Jamestown Arts Center "Members Show" (2013-16)
Jamestown Arts Center “Collaboration” (2008-12)
The Jamestown Gallery, Jamestown RI (2009 - 2010)
Egan Institute, Nantucket Art Association (2007, ’09, ’11)
Didi Suydam Studio, Newport RI (2008)
Alliance Francais, Washington, DC (2001)
Ergo Art, Newport RI (1998 - 2000)
O. Duncan Connelly Fine Art Gallery, Italian Institute, SF CA (1995)
Lee Arthur-Christian Bardenheuer Studio, NYC NY (1994)
Century Association, NYC NY (1990)
Artist Association of Nantucket 1998 - 2018
Conanicut Art Association 1990 - 2018
Jamestown Arts Center, co-founder
vice president 2007- '10
advisory board 2010 -’13
advisory counncil 2014-16
My paintings are emotional responses to life, both observed and remembered. I’ve evolved my style, inspired by the French Impressionists, and Flemish and Italian Renaissance painters. Painting in series of certain landscapes or still life objects, certain people, places, and things have become iconic to me. As I progress from painting to painting, I move from vision to revision to re-envision. In this way I hope to imbue my work with more passion and meaning.