March's Member Spotlight: Rachael Rice

29 Feb 2024 8:04 PM | Teresa Sites (Administrator)

March Member Spotlight:  Rachael Rice

Lives: Bethesda


Instagram: #rachael_allison_designs

Media and Subject: Glass Mosaics and Fluid Art

Why did you join MAA: For opportunities to show my art, to learn from other artists, to be part of an active artistic community.

Have you participated in MAA shows?

Tis the Season, Artist and Makers, November 2023 Rockville, Md

Seeing the Beauty of All things Goldman Gallery, JCC Nov 2023 Rockville Md

Oasis Art Gallery, Westfield Mall @024

Chasing the Winter lights, Windridge Winery, January 2024  Darnstown Md 

Women’s Art, Goldman Gallery, JCC February 2024, Rockville Md

Something fun about yourself:

I have organized bike and barge trips through Belgium, Italy, France, Germany, Hungary, Austria and Croatia over the last ten years.

Artist Biography:

The Beginning

I started my creative journey when I was 5 years old.  My mother taught me how to knit at an early age, and I spent many years in childhood creating knitted projects and sewing clothes; I even enrolled in a woodworking class in high school.  My childhood was filled with creative pursuits.

Formative Years  

In graduate school, I sought out metal and jewelry art education at a local community college. Then I was gifted a Nikon camera. I became drawn to the dramatic effects of black and white film and its manipulation in the darkroom.  I was inspired by photographers like Diane Arbus and Dorthea Lange. Photojournalism resonated with me but I decided that it might be too difficult to pursue as a career.

Artist, Reinvented

In the 90's a vast variety of colorful fabrics became available. I studied traditional quilting but found abstract designs far more satisfying. For the next two decades, I created abstract quilts, fiber wearables, and wall baskets.  I took a detour to try ceramics and hand-building with clay. I loved the sculptural aspect of working with clay and produced organic shapes and unusual functional pottery, and on occasion turned my home into a pottery store.  While clay offered me the chance to explore sculptural forms, I missed working with a colorful medium.

In 2005, a friend introduced me to dichroic glass fusion and beading.  The vibrant colors of glass stimulated my creativity and led to the next decade of beaded jewelry making.  I returned to create jewelry with various metals.  Then a visit to a Alexander Caldor’s exhibit of mobiles drew me into fabricating my own mobiles out of hand-forged metals, and I began creating with copper, silver, and wood.

Mosaics and Me

About five years ago, I was visiting a local high school and I fell in love with a huge mosaic mural done by the students.  At that time, mosaics were evolving from more classical perspectives to ones allowing more artistic freedom.  Drawn to the tremendous range of colors available in stained glass, I immersed myself in creating large mosaics of portraits, landscapes, and abstract designs.  I love the painterly approach learned from my mentor Yulia Hanansen and from recreating the works of great impressionist painters such as Van Gough and Renoir. 


When I was vacationing at the beach, I took a workshop on fluid art and fell in love with this medium and process. Pouring acrylic paint on canvas and manipulating it to create abstract art was exhilarating. The endless possibilities of this art form have provided me with the perfect outlet for my exploration of color and movement.

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