"The Little Match Girl" 2015-2016, gouache, 30" x 20"
"The Constellation of Little Hattie Over Georgian Bay" 2016, gouache, 24" x 18"
"Little Hattie at Andromeda's Wedding" 2019, gouache, 40" x 60"
"The Secrets" 2020, gouache, 30" x 20"
"Vermeer's Dream" 2014, gouache, 30" x 20"
"The Assumption of the Corn Maiden" 2018, gouache, 30" x 20"
"The Log Horse" 2015, gouache, 18" x 24"
"A Girl Will Fly" 2014, pencil drawing, 12" x 6"
"My Red Coat and the Golem" 2018, gouache, 24" x 18"
"A Dinner Poem" 2021, gouache, 20" x 30"
"Afternoon with My Mother" 2021, pencil and gouache on toned paper, 8" x 11"
"My Sister's Heavenly Garden" 2017, gouache, 40" x 30"
"The Swimmer" 2018, gouache, 24" x 18"
"Gold" 2019, gouache, 40" x 30"
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Member Portfolio

Elissa Glassgold

Philadelphia, PA


Artist Statement

I consider my works to be visual narratives that illustrate the magical, transcendent and difficult experiences of childhood. My images are primarily autobiographical, but also are derived from my ongoing interest in the history of childhood as portrayed in literature, religious iconography, fairy tales and art.

I grew up in Detroit, Michigan during the years that the city began falling from its former grace as a prosperous and progressive metropolis. It was a time when children lived their daily lives away from watching parents, and amidst these landscapes of the banal, fascinating, and terrifying realms of their own elementary society, set out to explore the world and face its demons. I have been traveling back to these places in my work, and in the process have been trying to understand something that is both magical and fearsome at the same moment.

Artist Biography

I studied at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts in Philadelphia, during which time I was awarded a William Emlen Cresson Memorial Traveling Scholarship. I hold a Bachelor of Fine Art and Art Education from The University of the Arts in Philadelphia, and MFA in Painting from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

I was a resident artist at The Samuel Fleisher Art Memorial from 1981 until 1985, and taught various classes including Life Painting and Drawing there until 2010. I was employed by Temple/Tyler University in Philadelphia for six years as a full time adjunct instructor and was also an instructor of Art History and Life Drawing at the Hussian School of Art in Philadelphia for five years. In addition, I wrote an undergraduate Liberal Arts course in Visual Language and Art History which I taught at Rutgers University in Camden, New Jersey for four years.

Concurrent with College Teaching, I was involved in early elementary art education for several years, working primarily in the Philadelphia/New Jersey areas. Most recently, I was part of a founding team of Arts, Music, Technology and Dance faculty at an experimental early education school which was funded by the State of Pennsylvania in partnership with philanthropic sources based at Swarthmore University, Pennsylvania.

In 1987 I was awarded an Individual Artist Grant from the Pennsylvania State Council on the Arts. I was represented by and exhibited my work at the Charles More Gallery in Philadelphia, and have participated in many faculty, solo and group exhibitions which included the Lawrence Gallery of Rosemont College, Pennsylvania, the Philadelphia Art Alliance, the Ackland Art Museum UNC, The Wind Challenge Exhibition/Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA, The Philadelphia Art Alliance, The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia PA, The Noyes Museum of Art, New Jersey, The University of Delaware, Abington Art Center, PA, and The Drawing Center in NYC. I was also a founding member of Nexus Gallery, Philadelphia, where I exhibited in group and solo shows.

From 1990 until 2010, during which time I was painting, exhibiting, and teaching part time, I also worked in the commercial field of Toy Design. I produced sculpted prototype dolls for Zapf-Creation Germany, whose products were featured at FAO Schwarz and in the European marketplace. My work became very well known in this milieu. I was nominated for many industry awards, several articles were written about my designs, and my work was featured in books which celebrated the works of contemporary Doll Artists. In addition to production work, I created individual mixed media sculptures/dolls, which were exhibited at such Venues as the Jacob Javitts Center Invitational: “The Doll as Art” annual exhibition at International Toy Fair. My works were included in venues related to the field of mixed media figural sculpture in group exhibitions in New Orleans, Chicago, and also in industry sponsored exhibitions in New York, San Francisco, and Germany.

In 2015 and 2017, I attended a residency at the Vermont Studio Center and in 2018 was a resident at The Horned Dorset Artist’s Colony in Leonardsville, New York.


BA Art Education, University of the Arts, Philadelphia, PA

MFA University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

BFA  University of the Arts Philadelphia, PA

Four Year Certificate, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Professional Experience

Freelance Illustrator for local and independent print and video publications

Independent sculpture/designs and prototypes for the European and American collectible toy markets

Painting and Drawing Instructor Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA,

Teacher: Elementary Art in Public and Private School Settings  

Adjunct Professor of Foundation Drawing, Painting and Landscape Drawing

Temple University, Philadelphia, PA

Adjunct Professor of Art Appreciation/Art History Rutgers University; Camden, NJ      

Instructor of Art History and Painting, Hussian School of Art, Philadelphia, PA  


Member, InLiquid

Member, The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators


Review: Miriam Seidel/New Art Examiner/ Challenge 4. Summer 1985

Review: Edward Sozanski/Philadelphia Inquirer/The Arts. February 1986

Awards and Honors

Artist Residency/Virginia Center for the Creative Arts, Amherst, VA

Artist Residency/The Horned Dorset, Leonardsville, NY

Artist Residency/Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont

Artist Residency/Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, Vermont

Pennsylvania State Council of the Arts, Individual Artist Award

Artist in Residence, Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

Cresson Award, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Selected Group Exhibitions

, InLiquid Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Wild Muse/Animals in Art,
Annmarie Sculpture Garden and Arts Center, Solomans, MD
Juror: Maureen Leary/Smithsonian Postal Museum

New Now VI, InLiquid Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Ellarslie Open,
Trenton City Museum, New Jersey  
Juror: Dr. William R.Valerio

Abington Art Center, Abington, PA  
Juror: Michael Gallagher

Annual Summer Exhibition, Abington Art Center, Abington, PA
Juror: Mashuel Chowdhury    

Women’s Caucus for the Arts, New Century Gallery, NYC, NY

Main Line Art Center, Haverford, PA

Magnum Opus; Trends in 3-D Mixed Media Figurative Art,
Devine Gallery, New York, NY

Wind Challenge Exhibition,
 Fleisher Art Memorial, Philadelphia, PA

Annual Invitational Exhibit of “The Doll as Art”, Jacob Javitts Center, NY

Delaware Center for the Arts, Wilmington, Delaware

New Jersey and Regional Arts Annual Juried Show, Noyes Museum, NJ

Perkins Center for the Arts, Moorestown, NJ

Charles More Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Selections 27, Drawing Center of New York, NY

The Decorated Figure, Helman Gallery, Chicago, Ill.          

Drawing, Art in City Hall, Philadelphia, PA

Temple University, TUCC Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Trenton State University, Art Gallery/ Ewing, NJ

Vincent Kling Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Mott College Art Gallery, Flint, MI

Peale Gallery, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, Philadelphia, PA

Nexus Gallery, Philadelphia, PA

Women Artists of North Carolina, RJ Reynolds Industries, Winston-Salem, NC

Woodmere Art Museum, Philadelphia, PA

Rosemont College, Rosemont, PA

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