Five months after Hurricane Sandy slammed the Jersey shore, home- and business owners in the region are still dealing with the destruction inflicted by this storm. Alumna Linda Ramsay, a 1980 graduate of the Camden College of Arts and Sciences, experienced the wrath of Sandy firsthand when her Long Beach Island art studio was damaged. She lost a large painting, some supplies, and furniture. Linda is quick to point out, however, that others were more severely affected – for example, Long Beach Island-based glass artist Mary Tantillo lost all her equipment, kiln and designs, and studio space.
Inspired to help others through art, Linda; her friend, photographer Deborah Mix; and Bluestone Fine Arts Gallery owner Pam Regan decided to change the theme of a previously scheduled exhibition to focus on images of the Jersey shore, stretching from Cape May to Long Beach Island. As part of the exhibition, Linda and Deborah will each donate a piece of work to be part of a silent auction, with the proceeds benefiting Mary Tantillo. “My expectations for the exhibit is to bring attention to the ongoing impact that Sandy has had on our coastline and the rebuilding of the Jersey shore…one artwork at a time,” Linda says.
Linda discovered her love of art when she was a young girl. Growing up in Haddonfield, New Jersey, Linda took weekly oil painting lessons at Sanski’s Art Studio and Gallery. These lessons gave her a solid foundation in drawing, mixing pigments, and painting techniques. Though she’s tried other mediums, such as acrylics, watercolors, and pastels, oils remain her favorite because of their vibrancy of color, their fluidity and workability over a longer time period, and because they are easy to manipulate if you’re unsatisfied with a certain aspect of a painting.
When looking for a college, Linda wanted a small school with an excellent academic reputation. Rutgers-Camden fit that bill, and its good value and the fact it was near her home were other key factors that drew her to our campus. She also knew that she wanted to major in art, and wanted to also have the chance to get her teaching certification while taking art courses. Rutgers-Camden met every requirement on her checklist, and she enrolled in 1977.
While at Rutgers-Camden, three art professors had a profound impact on Linda: Bill Hoffman (studio painting), John Giannotti (drawing, calligraphy, and sculpture), and Olga Moore (graphic design). “They were interested in the development of their students’ skills, and were never too busy to offer advice and encouragement,” Linda says. While here, Linda was able to take part on the first Rutgers-Camden study abroad program. With Professor Giannotti, and seventeen fellow painting, art history, and graphic arts students, Linda traveled to France, Switzerland, and Italy. She calls the trip “an amazing journey and learning experience.”
Linda’s education at Rutgers-Camden prepared her well for her career as the owner of Willow Graphics. The focus of her business is painting in oils, though she also illustrates family records such as family trees, birth and wedding records, and she uses the skills she learned in a calligraphy class at Rutgers-Camden to create these pieces. She also participates in many exhibits and shows, where she has the opportunity to display and sell her work, much of which is inspired by nature. Clearly, Linda’s passion and talent for art has transitioned her girlhood hobby into a fulfilling career, making her yet another Rutgers-Camden success story.
Rebuilding the Jersey Shore: One Artwork at a Time, featuring the work of artists Linda Ramsay and Deborah Mix, will be open from April 5th – 26th at Bluestone Fine Arts Gallery at 301 N. 3rd Street in Philadelphia. An opening reception will be held from 5 p.m. – 9 p.m. on Friday, April 5th. On Sunday, April 21st, there will be an artist reception, where Linda will create a Plein Air painting.
For a complete list of upcoming Bluestone Fine Arts Gallery events, visit their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/home.php?ref=tn_tnmn#!/pages/Bluestone-Fine-Art-Gallery/180114855366302?fref=ts.
About Linda Ramsay
Hometown: Haddonfield, NJ
Camden College of Arts and Sciences Major: Graphic Design
Camden College of Arts and Sciences Minor: Painting
Camden College of Arts and Sciences Graduation Date: 1980