Lassiter Fine Art: 50 Years of History


ART IN THE FIRST GENERATION

Portrait of Vernice Brown Lassiter executed by Valdi Maris during summer studies of 1964. Resides in Collection of Monica Lassiter Ard.

Portrait of Vernice Brown Lassiter executed by Valdi Maris during summer studies of 1964. Resides in Collection of Monica Lassiter Ard.

Monica Lassiter Ard, born to an artist mother, Vernice Brown Lassiter of some renown:                  

Who Was Who in American Art, 1564-1975                

Who’s Who of American Women                                 

Who’s Who in American Art                                       

Who’s Who in the South National Society of Literature and the Arts                                                                   

Listed in the Dictionary of International Biography   

Chosen to exhibit watercolor in the 26th and 27th Miniature Painter’s, Sculptors and Gravers Society of Washington D.C., exhibited at the Smithsonian Institute                                                                  

Chosen by Cultural Exchange Program to present works to Mayor of  Malaga, Spain                                                                  

1965 Top three pieces to travel in the Sears Vincent Price Show Commissioned by United Airlines.

Mid 1950’s, artist Vernice Brown Lassiter modeling for Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord and Taylor.

Mid 1950’s, artist Vernice Brown Lassiter modeling for Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord and Taylor.

Monica, born 1960, having lived a life heavily saturated daily in the world of art, started painting along side her mother at the age of four. In 1964, Monica’s mother was already an emerging artist in the U.S. having studied at the Art Student’s League in New York and with private instructors such as Joseph Hirsch, Henry Gasser, Max Carter, Valdi Maris, Hans Hofmann, Robert Brackman of the Famous Artist School, and August P. Trovaioli of the Eastern Shore. Monica remembers the summer of 1964 when instructor Valdi Maris of the Art Student’s League came to live with them in their home and taught both mother and daughter in her mother’s studio. Maris spoke of his friendship and studies with many of the greats such as Salvador Dali and Jackson Pollack. Maris was an incredible teacher of the color palette as well as heavy knife painting. Maris, born in Riga, Latvia, studied at the Academy of Arts, Riga and the University of Heidelberg. Valdi was of Jewish decent and gave detailed descriptions of losing all members of his family to Hitler’s fury, escaping to America from Nazi territories, arriving in New York, and his journey on becoming an instructor at the Art Student’s League. There is an enormous connection between the art movement and the personal histories of individual artists who struggled to master their craft that Monica feels her family is proud to be a part of to this day. There were many incredible teachers and established portrait painters that lived and stayed in their home allowing private instruction to both mother and daughter over the course of two decades.

Monica remained participatory in all art projects that were brought forth in her mother’s career. Vernice Brown Lassiter was awarded a commission by the president  of U.S.A.’s School of Medicine to execute a 16 foot by 16 foot plexi-glass mural depicting the human cell. Monica, yet again, at the age of 11, spent the summer learning to mix resin colors and painting on plexi-glass. This piece, being extremely cutting edge in it’s day, 1971, was erected in 1974, mimicked the reverse glass painting of Venice. Vernice, known for her love of portraiture capturing her audience with the use of mixed media and heavy use of palette knife, was commissioned to paint Governor George C. Wallace for the capitol’s rotunda in Alabama. Monica was given the opportunity to spend the summer learning both photography and portrait painting. Vernice, having been photographed as a model for Saks Fifth Avenue and Lord and Taylor while studying at the Art’s Students League in her early 20’s, used her experiences to master the art of photography during her career. She was always insistent upon taking all of her subjects photographs. Monica, always in tow on appointments, was allowed the luxury to be involved in the portrait painting process from start to finish. Vernice schooled Monica in the full process including the photographing of the subjects, mixing of the flesh tones and the use of the palette knife. Vernice’s mixed media and heavy impasto backgrounds, to this day, still remains her incredible signature that distinguishes her art from all others. This secret and mastery has been passed down to her daughter Monica. As a teenager, Monica was given color palette, the art of facial anatomy, perspective drawing, and composition and balance instruction during her time spent with her mother. Monica remembers that her mother became dependent on Monica’s critique of her pieces as Monica showed enormous talent at an early age. Vernice taught children’s and adult classes throughout her career as well as television class instruction. Monica’s mother opened the Vernice Lassiter Art Gallery in Mobile, Alabama which became a proud landmark of the Springhill area of Mobile upon which Monica worked with clients and helped prepare classes for children and adults as the gallery was also a working studio.

ART IN THE SECOND GENERATION

Monica Lassiter Ard born 1960. Monica continued her career upon leaving home and her mother’s instruction and the gallery by attending Auburn University studying Interior Design and Art History 1978-1982. While still attending college received invitation to show at the prestigious Loretta Goodwin Gallery in Birmingham, Alabama while still under the direction of owner and director Loretta Goodwin.

AGE 22

Press Release from group showing of select mixed media artists across the U.S. held in Charlotte, North Carolina

“Monica, you are far beyond your years of hard work and talent… Art In America has just released it’s Annual and I’m sure you will be delighted to find your name included… Please use this publication to your best advantage. Make sure that mention appears on all your resume and vita’s that you send to other galleries and exhibitions. Only a small number of artists ever have their names published in national and international publications. Congratulations.

Thank you for letting us be a part of your promising future.”

Colleen Later

Gallery Director

Gallery II R.S.V.P.

THE EARLY 80’S

Age 22 One Man Show: The Merchants National Bank One Man show: Alabama State Convention Center

AGE 23    

Alabama Zoological Society by submission Amazing animals                                                                          

Asked to participate in Birmingham’s Original Gallery On The Green. Only 12 artists selected citywide.

Gallery On The Green was once one of Birmingham’s largest events, known as City Stages.

AGE 24

Group Showing Birmingham Art Gallery under the direction of Mary and John McCluskey director and owners both deceased.                                                  

John and Mary McCluskey were known for their collection of fine art as well as embracing emerging and young talents in their promising careers as artists.

Monica Ard Honored Artist. Birmingham’s Decorator Show House. Television coverage of Parisian mural taking over three months to complete                                                

1990’S

Monica Lassiter Ard started her own design business to enhance her art career with works published over eight times by:                                                                     

Oxmoor House Publishing and Southern progress Corporation                                                             

Published in Southern Living Magazine numerous times Feature Article entitled: Artists From Around the World Article re-released in Home and Garden Artist On All Levels                                                                              

Cover story: Over The Mountain Journal                    Monica Lassiter Ard Women to Watch In Business  

Cover: Children’s Dance Foundation of Birmingham Monica Ard raising thousands of dollars with art sales for over 8 years supporting children’s dance and freedom of expression.

Service Guild of Birmingham:                                      Monica Ard Design Chair and block artist raising thousands of dollars with art sales over 9 years supporting children with Down Syndrome, Spina Bifida, Prater Willie and other childhood diseases for children ages birth to three. 

Honored Artist Choctaw County Arts Festival One Man Show

Monica Lassiter Ard Emmet O’Neal Chairman of Art advisory Board three consecutive years

Participation in Tablescapes by Southern Progress Corporation Designer/Owner: Monica Lassiter Ard                   Entitled: Reception Of An Artist                                                                                                                                       

Joatmon: One Man Show                                                                                                                                                        

Meet the artist hosted by Dr. and Mrs. Aubrey King                                                                                                        

Monica Ard interviewed by Vive News at Art Wynwood 2017. One of her pieces,  Olympic , sold for one of the highest prices at the fair.

Monica Ard interviewed by Vive News at Art Wynwood 2017. One of her pieces, Olympic, sold for one of the highest prices at the fair.

Nelson’s One Man Show: Latest works by Monica Lassiter Ard

THIRD GENERATION OF ART

Henry Lassiter Ard, born 1990 to an artist mother and grandmother, now forging on in the field of art. Graduated Graduated Cum Laude Birmingham-Southern College. He is currently attending The George Washington University School of Law and The Columbian College of Arts and Sciences, pursuing both an J.D. and M.S. in Molecular Biochemistry and Bioinformatics. Following in his mother’s footsteps, Henry has studied art in their home studio along side his mother and grandmother since the age of four. Henry’s love of art and interest in Abstract Expressionism is a driving force in all of my available spare time outside of college studies. I am drawn to art and the outlet in which to express myself through color and paint.

“A teacher affects eternity: he can never tell where his influence stops.”                                                                                           - Hans Hofmann

“I am truly grateful for the history of my artist mother and grandmother. It is my desire that in this lifetime we will execute a collaborative effort between the three of us.”                                                                                                                -Henry Lassiter Ard

 

 

 

Monica, after taking some years away from her career, is now proud to announce her return to the art world. She plans to open her own gallery in the Birmingham area in 2017, focusing, not only on her own works, but on the works of established artists, as well as the works of emerging young talented artists.