Rita’s Journey in Pictures
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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