Temporary Installation "Rita DeWitt: Pretty Miss Smiles" at the Roswell Museum

Mar 24, 2023

The Roswell Museum
proudly presents 

Rita DeWitt: Pretty Miss Smiles

A Temporary Installation from the Roswell Museum's Permanent Collection, Curated by Aaron Wilder

Rita DeWitt, Pretty Miss Smiles (detail), 1984, 18 Xerox 6500 Color Copier Images with Texts, Hand-Applied Color on Paper (Edition of 3), June Middleton Estate Fund Purchase

March 25-July 30, 2023

The Roswell Museum

Samuel H. Marshall & Donald Winston Gallery

1011 North Richardson Avenue

Roswell, NM 88201

Rita DeWitt was born in 1948 in Covington, Kentucky. She earned her BFA in 1970 and MFA in 1972 from the University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa. Her educational career included teaching at the University of Southern Mississippi from 1977 to 1989, the School of the Art Institute of Chicago from 1987 to 1989, and Rhode Island School of Design intermittently between 1989 and 1996.

DeWitt was Roswell Artist-in-Residence 1984-1985. When applying to the residency, DeWitt wrote in her statement of intent, “I have always been prolific and have developed a strong visual vocabulary. My strengths include a love of vivid color, a rich sense of design, a flair for blending image with language, inventiveness, humor, and a divergent approach to visual solutions... As a woman artist working in the South, I have developed an intense commitment and an ability to work in relative isolation. I like community as I come from a large family. I value camaraderie and debate over methods and ideas.” 

In the introductory essay for the catalog of DeWitt’s 1985 solo exhibition entitled Dissolve Differences here at the Roswell Museum, photographer and writer April Rapier wrote “her vision grows in concentric circles, she moves in all directions. To define any aspect of the imagery leads the viewer at once in other directions, perhaps of DeWitt’s choosing, often not... There is great peace to be found. No question, however painful, is left unasked, no emotion or memory unremarked upon... In part, every piece is a portrait of the joy and pain of self-discovery... DeWitt makes impossible demands of materials and machines... Historical perceptions, misconceptions and abuses of women are examined... yet the conclusion does not proselytize.”

Curated by Aaron Wilder

Recent Blog Entries