Ridley-Tree Museum presents Marie Schoeff: ‘Amplifying the Between’

Lily Crisp, Staff Writer

There is a fine line between drawing and print-making: Marie Schoeff has mastered both. With extensive experience creating art and teaching others, Schoeff boasts an impressive collection of various pieces that will be showcased from Jan. 13 through Mar. 26 2022, in Westmont’s Ridley Tree Museum of Art. 

While each piece is unique, Schoeff’s art takes inspiration from landscapes, feminism and spiritual elements. 

Schoeff has “always been interested in transcendence, in spirituality, in kind of encountering that otherness,” said Dr. Judy Larson, who teaches art history and directs the Ridley-Tree.

Schoeff has taught at Santa Barbara City College and served as an adjunct professor at Westmont for many years, recently retiring in 2017.

After graduating with an MFA from Hunter College in New York, Schoeff was immersed in the early 1980s New York art scene, during the same time artists such as Keith Haring and Jean-Michel Basquiat were dominating the art street scenes.

Schoeff was also inspired by the feminist art, which lingers with her still today. From growing up in the 50s watching her mother draw female faces, to exhibiting her work in a female artist’s exhibit, to drawing female inspired forms that celebrate womanhood.

Schoeff’s art has evolved over the years. For example, she’s moved from horizontal and vertical canvases to more circular canvases. This  progress is shown in Marie’s retrospective at The Ridley-Tree Museum, depicting her transformation and growth over decades as an artist.

Unlike some artists, Schoeff often makes her own paper for her prints, emphasizing “the spirituality of the handmade, that it’s perfect, but imperfect,” said Larson. 

Schoeff also practices trace-drawing, where she hangs double-sided paper in a glass frame to reveal a drawn side and a printed side. Marie has a large collection of prints, drawings and paintings, some including bright oil paintings while others include delicate black and white line drawings.

Dr. Larson encouraged students to stop by the museum even just to have a “sanctuary” from the chaos of campus life. After they’re inspired by Schoeff’s work, students can try their hand at papermaking on the patio and put their creativity to work.

The museum is open Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. – 4 p.m., and Saturday 11 a.m. – 5 p.m.. To preview Marie’s art, you can visit https://www.marieschoeff.com/.

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