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Lori Solymosi Is Drawn to Figure Painting

Ten weeks in Europe convinced Anderson Artists Guild member Lori Solymosi that art was her future. After graduating from The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, she received the Cresson Traveling Scholarship, which allowed her a summer of travel through Paris, Rome, Greece, and Germany, where she spent most of her time in art museums. “It solidified my desire to spend the rest of my life doing this,” she said.

As a kid in Connecticut, Solymosi had drawn all the time. She called it “making stuff.” She attended the AES Educational Center for the Arts, a public arts magnet school where she was trained by Yale graduate students in painting and photography and where she had the opportunity to paint from live models. This ignited a lifelong love of figure painting.

After college, Solymosi cofounded the North Penn Arts Alliance, a nonprofit dedicated to the visual arts. She developed an arts education program and served as educational coordinator, instructor, and executive director. She also collaborated on a project called “Resisting Gravity,” in which musicians, artists, and writers collaborated with people with disabilities to break down the stereotypes and fears toward those with mental disabilities. During this time, she earned certification in arts management at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

After moving to Michigan, she became part of a writers’ group and contributed writing and artwork to the book Almost Touching: An Anthology of Michigan Writers. The book was about overcoming personal, physical, emotional and universal human challenges.

After her husband retired from his engineering career, the couple moved to Pendleton in 2004. Solymosi taught art at St. Joseph’s Catholic School in Anderson for eight years and is an active member of the cooperative that runs the Art Gallery on Pendleton Square. Her work can also be found in the Loblolly Art Gallery in Seneca.

Solymosi works in a variety of mediums, including acrylic, oil, watercolor, and—her most recent favorite—mixed media, which involves using such textural items as cold wax. A frequent subject is vintage bathing beauties. Her inspirations come from copyright-free black and white photos from the 1920s that she finds online from the Library of Congress, in antique stores, and from friends. “The twenties were the first time women were getting more expressive and liberated,” she said. “I love the fashion and music.” Her figures are usually faceless to make them more universal. They are representational though she finds her work growing more abstract and experimental. “I concentrate on color and form and texture and movement,” she said. “Figures are a vehicle for that expression.”

Solymosi currently has a solo show of 35 paintings at The Blood Connection, located at 435 Woodruff Road in Greenville. The show started Aug. 14 and will run through Nov. 11. A reception will be held on Thursday, Sept. 12, from 5:30-7:30 p.m. The Blood Connection hosts four art shows each year. She has also recently been accepted into the South Carolina Watermedia Society national juried show and a regional juried show at the West Main Artist Co-operative in Spartanburg.

For more information about Solymosi, visit

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