ABOUT THE ARTIST
REBECCA NEWMAN was born in Chicago in 1951 and grew up in New York City and Denver. She was admitted to Yale College as a member of the first class to include women and as a participant in the Directed Studies Program. After believing that she would major in philosophy, Rebecca instead gravitated toward the art school, where she studied painting with William Bailey, Bernard Chaet, and Chuck Close, printmaking with Gabor Peterdi, and photography with Walter Rosenblum and Walker Evans. Also, she was selected to attend Yale’s Summer Art Program at Norfolk and was awarded a B.A. in Fine Arts, cum laude.
Following graduation, Rebecca traveled with a friend to Europe and spent several months in Spain, where she continued her pursuit of painting, printmaking, and drawing, particularly with daily drawing work at the Prado Museum in Madrid. Returning to New Haven, Connecticut, she met her husband-to-be and moved with him to Los Angeles where she had been accepted to graduate study at the California Institute of the Arts. At the last minute, however, Rebecca decided it would be best to practice art on her own rather than return to university to get an M.F.A. Instead, she applied to UCLA, where she was accepted into the business school.
With an M.B.A., Rebecca took a day job and also resumed her artwork on nights and weekends. Days she worked for movie studios, Zoetrope and Twentieth-Century Fox, where she was involved in the launch of the home video industry, releasing movies for the first time on VHS format videotapes. It was during this time that Rebecca gave birth to her two sons and stopped working in order to help take care of them.
Unfortunately, a major Hollywood strike of the Writer’s Guild forced Rebecca and her husband (a screenwriter) to move into interactive media in order to earn a living. Once her young children entered school, Rebecca worked full-time for over eight years. Her 40-person unit at Philips Electronics produced 14 prize-winning and innovative children’s titles, filled with character animation and educational games created in their studio, and released in many languages throughout the world. Among the many awards received were the Best Interactive Children’s Videodisc and Best Interactive Comedy Videodisc as well as two Cine Golden Eagles.
When digital video became a viable technology, it was Rebecca’s team that invented how to deliver digitized studio movies to the marketplace through an authoring system format known as Video CD. Once again, for some odd reason, she was working to advance the business of home video. On an intensive six-month project, and teamed with a major Hollywood motion picture laboratory, Rebecca’s unit radically reduced the price of digitization by more than ten-fold and invented the first on-screen chaptering menus that are used even today for the follow-on systems of DVD and Blu-ray. By the end of the project, during which hundreds of movies were commercially released, the major studios had a new format for film distribution.
After her time at Philips, Rebecca’s interest in education encouraged her to lead a group she organized to bid on a two-year project to devise the 20-year plan for new and improved facilities in the Santa Monica and Malibu School District. As a result of her team’s work, a $368 million bond was approved by public vote which resulted in significant improvement in the school district’s ability to deliver educational services in modernized facilities, including an innovative new “Discovery” building on the Santa Monica High School campus.
But as this major project concluded, in 2007 Rebecca experienced a catastrophic medical event that nearly killed her. An arterial venous malformation (AVM) burst and bled into her brain, which necessitated an emergency craniotomy. Hospitalized for a month, Rebecca returned home and underwent a significant time of recuperation. Since she suffered hemiparesis on her left side, Rebecca had to learn to walk again and could no longer easily wander around her neighborhood painting her favorite trees, or even drive a car, a significant disability in Los Angeles. And although Rebecca’s recovery was amazing compared to what could have been, she was more or less confined to her home and her art studio behind it. During this time, what Rebecca most feared was that the visual spatial difficulties which occurred from her right-brain injury would prohibit her from ever doing artwork again. But because Rebecca could no longer manage a “job,” art became the central focus of her activity.
Although the significant physical effort of putting on exhibits of her work in galleries that occurred before 2007 was no longer in practicality possible, Rebecca’s familiarity with digital media allowed her instead to plan her own exhibits on the internet. This website presents her exhibited work from before the aneurysm and also what followed afterward to present day.
EXHIBITS AND AWARDS
ENCOUNTERS AND MEMORIES. Two-person show, Davenport College Gallery, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, February 4 - March 3, 2006.
BETWEEN THE BRANCHES. Solo show, TAG Gallery, Santa Monica, California, October 15 - November 9, 2002.
SUDDENNESS. Solo show, TAG Gallery, Santa Monica, California, January 3 - January 27, 2001.
NEW WORK. Three-person show, TAG Gallery, Santa Monica, California, February-March, 2000.
DRAWINGS ON PHOTOGRAPHS. Solo Show, University of California, Berkeley Extension, Downstairs Gallery, May-June 1990.
CREATIVE PROCESS. Group Show, Downey Museum of Art, Downey, California, March-April 1989.
URBAN PATTERNS. Group Show, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Rental Gallery, Los Angeles, California. September-October, 1988.
ANNUAL AUCTION EXHIBITS. Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies, Los Angeles California, 1987, 1988, 1989.
MEMBERSHIP SHOW. Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies; juried by William Olander of the New Museum, New York, at the Brand Library, Glendale, California,1988.
ANNUAL GROUP SHOW. Double Rocking G Gallery, Los Angeles, California, 1987.
RECONSTRUCTIONS. Solo Show, Double Rocking G Gallery, Los Angeles, California, March-April, 1987.
INVITATIONAL SHOW. Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies, Joslyn Art Center, Torrance, California, 1986.
NEWCOMERS 1985. Group Show, Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery, Barnsdall Park, Los Angeles, California, 1985.
TRANSFORMATIONS. Solo Show, G.A.N.G. Gallery, 800 Traction Avenue, Los Angeles, 1979.
SECOND ANNUAL PHOTOGRAPHY OPEN. Group Show, Westwood Art Center, 1979.
JURIED MEMBERSHIP SHOW. Group Show, Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies, juried by Darryl Curran and JoAnn Callis, 1978.
Finalist for Ferguson Award in Photography, Friends of Photography, San Francisco, 1989.
Finalist for Young Talent Award, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Los Angeles, California, 1990.
Past President and Board Member, Los Angeles Center for Photographic Studies, Los Angeles, California,1989-1990.
Member of Committee for 150 Years of Photography, Los Angeles, California, 1989.
Website produced by Gary Drucker
Wix technology specialist Nessy Barzilay