Rita Ayral, currently lives in Alameda, California and grew up in rural Alabama. Her first art experience was a drawing of her dog. She also made clay objects from the red clay abundant in her backyard. It was not until 1965 when she took an art class at the University of Alabama, Birmingham, under teacher Martha Johnson, that she discovered her lifetime passion for creating art. In this class, she met her fellow artist/friend, Jessica Phrogus, and they participated in their first group show at Central Bank. Rita received her BA from the University of Alabama, with an English Literature major, Spanish and psychology minor. Her art has included ceramics and painting in watercolor, oils, acrylics, and charcoal. She is presently working in acrylics and mixed media. Her current piece at this gallery is an acrylic painting, “Racing into the sunset” created while taking a class taught by Ruth Block at Berkeley City College. Previously, Rita experimented in workshops taught by the late Paula Powers.
“I am always looking for new ways to work with different mediums and have found techniques taught in The Painting Experience, a catalyst for emerging projects. My early influences were Modigliani, Georgia O’Keefe and Salvador Dali.” she said.