Ronni Jolles has been on an artistic journey since childhood. Born in Rochester, New York, the child of a painter and a lawyer, Ronni’s art education began very early both inside and outside the home. After her family moved to Washington, D.C., she attended Sidwell Friends in Washington D.C. and graduated from Cornell University with a double major in Art and Psychology. During college, Ronni worked in photography, drawing, painting, and wood carving, discovering how she responded to different media and what each drew from her creatively. Her subsequent work in publishing in the media division of National Geographic, along with graduate studies in art, led Ronni to the place she felt she could best contribute all she’d learned: the classroom.
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As a teacher, Ronni worked in all media. She taught drawing, painting, ceramics, collage, printmaking, and sculpture (in plaster, wire, and wood). Much as she loved teaching, the pull to produce her own work was becoming too strong, and in 2000, Ronni stopped teaching to become a full-time professional artist.
Collage was the art form that most appealed to Ronni’s tactile nature, and she learned the art of paper-making. The time-consuming nature of making paper led her to look for sources of paper throughout the world, so she could concentrate on making works with paper, rather than just on creating the paper itself. In her artist statement, Ronni explains the evolution of her unique form of paper artistry.
Ronni is currently a resident of Chevy Chase, Maryland, where she is becoming involved with the Chevy Chase Artists and teaching venues in the area. Ronni hopes to begin teaching her art form at Glen Echo Park in 2021. Ronni is still a member of Great Falls Studios, an artist’s group in Great Falls, Virginia, where she lived for 27 years before moving to Chevy Chase. Ronni continues to give Artist Talks to groups (artist groups, elderly communities, schools) in Maryland, Virginia, and DC.