Rita’s Journey in Pictures

1933

Cairo, Egypt

Markrit Thomassian was born to her Armenian father, Kaspar Thomassian, and her  Syrian mother, Gamila Khoury.

Kaspar was born in Turkey and escaped the World  War I Armenian holocaust while he was only 13 years old.  Gamila escaped the turmoil in Aleppo during that same war.   Both arrived as refugees in Egypt but worked hard enough to be successful by the time Markrit was born.

1970

Gallery Camille Opening

Five years after arriving in the US Rita opened her own “Galerie Camille” in Beverly Hills.  Highly opinionated art critic Robert Hughes came to the gallery and told Rita that her style was not in step with the then current Modern Art movement in New York.

1969

W&J Sloane Exhibition

Rita’s first art exhibit in the US was at W&J Sloane in Beverly Hills.  She donated all 30 paintings to the City Of Hope.  Months later seven of her paintings at W&J Sloane were stolen but never recovered.

1993

Leukemia Society Pittsburg

Rita was the featured artist in a Pittsburgh Leukemia fundraiser.  For that occasion, Rita created a special poster titled, “Give So Others Can Live.”  Her Nymphs painting appeared on the program cover.

1971

Portrait of Tricia Nixon

Santa Monica Congressman Alphonso Bell gave Tricia Nixon a portrait of her on the occasion of her wedding.  He commissioned Rita to do the portrait, after which Tricia Nixon sent a thank you letter to Rita.

2016

UNLV Exhibition

Three UNLV college professors participated in the opening to demonstrate the relationship between Ballerinas and Showgirls.  The show included a ballet performance by the students and a parade by Las Vegas Showgirls.

2017

Las Vegas, Nevada

PBS Las Vegas aired a half-hour documentary about Rita that was advertised in their Source Magazine as follows:

“Explore the life of Rita Asfour, a Las Vegas-based visual artist.  Rita came out of retirement to paint the city’s showgirls after seeing their bedazzling performance at Bally’s Jubilee show.  Dr. Robert Tracy, of the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, recognized the depth and diversity of her art and curated a show for her.  This program takes us into her home where she still creates art today.”

UNLV

Leukemia

W&JH Sloane

Galerie Camille

Salvo

Exhibitions

 

 

1969     W & J Sloane – Beverly Hills, California

1970     House of Hartford Gallery –  Beverly Hills, California

1971     Galerie Camille – Beverly Hills, California

1973     World of Art Gallery –  Scottsdale, Arizona

1973     La Pasada Gallery – Sedona, Arizona

1977     Mejika Galleries – Santa Monica, California

1980     Wally Findlay Galleries – Beverly Hills, California

1981     Art Expo – San Francisco, California

1989     Rhapsody Fine Art – West Hollywood, California

1990     Artexpo – New York, New York

1990     Artexpo – Los Angeles, California

1990     Art To Art Galleries – Studio City, California

1991     Artexpo – New York, New York

1991     Connoisseur Gallery – La Jolla, California

1991     Artexpo – Los Angeles, California

1991     Atlas Galleries – Chicago, Illinois

1991     Village Gallery – Breckenridge, Colorado

1991     Lumina Art Gallery – Trenton, New Jersey

1992     Rhapsody Fine Art – West Hollywood, California

1992     Globe Art Distributors, Ontario, Canada

1992     Modern Art Gallery – Japan

1993     Allan Art – Singapore

1994     Vail Fine Art – Edwards,  Colorado

1997     Wentworth Galleries – Nationwide, USA

2016     Healy Hayes Gallery, UNLV

 

Publications

 

1971     Lincoln Day Celebration – Cover art

1971     Los Angeles Magazine – Art Happenings

1971     The Beverly Hills Courier – Marjorie Walker

1991     Sunstorm Fine Art Magazine – The New Impressionists – by Andrew C. Voth

1992     Art Expo Preview – Facing Market Challenges, by Deborah K. Swanson

1992     Southwest Art Gallery Magazine – Real Art – by Rita Asfour

1992     The Art of Giving – The Leukemia Society Of America

1993     The Art of Giving – The Leukemia  Society Of America

1993     Sunstorm Fine Art Magazine – Pure Visual Sensation – by Kathleen Heiser

2016     Rita Asfour, Her Way – An Exhibition Guidebook by Dr. Robert Tracy, UNLV curator