Rita O'Hara

Rita O'Hara        

"Carl Jung said that art can be an expression of archetypes and, as such, is both transformative and healing.  Such universal and eternal images that frequently appear in my paintings are the Mandela (the self), the wise old woman, the wise old man, eternal youth, the butterfly (the soul), fish (transition), an individual walking down a path (life's journey), stars (hope), birds (the soul), swans (the supernatural).

The act of painting allows me to explore my unconscious.  As in the experience of a dream or fantasy, I may not understand the significance of the image.  Within the boundaries of my visual language, I am free to play with and reorder the archetypes into new imagery, and through this process their meaning is often revealed.

My work as a rehabilitation counselor, a struggle with rheumatoid arthritis, an Irish-Catholic background, and an interest in the spiritual influence the form and content of the paintings and drawings. 

My artwork consists of oil paintings, gouache paintings, and colored pencil drawings.  All Paintings have been titled using lines from Emily Dickinson's  poetry."


For the past fifteen years Rita O'Hara's work has appeared in numerous group and juried shows. She has also had eight solo shows at various galleries, including the C. G. Jung Institute of Chicago, Fine Arts Building Gallery, ARC Gallery and Columbia College Art Gallery. Her work has been featured in articles and photographs in the Midwest Gallery Guide, the Chicago Tribune, CAC News, Chicago Quarterly Review and the Pioneer Press.


    B.A. Ursuline College, Cleveland, Ohio

    M.S. Rehabilitation Psychology, Illinois Institute of Technology, Chicago, Illinois

    Studied art under Robert Guinan - Evanston Art Center and Guinan's Studio at the

    Noyes Cultural Art Center, Evanston, Illinois


       Art teacher, The Studios (SRO-Single Room Occupancy for formerly homeless people), Chicago, Illinois, 1998 to present.

       Art teacher to developmentally disabled adults, Resources for Living, Evanston, Illinois, 2001 to present.

       Art therapy groups for homeless women, Chicago Christian Industrial League, Chicago, Illinois, 1996-1999.


       SHADOW VISIONS, Cliff Dwellers, Chicago, Illinois. 2002.

       SHADOW VISIONS, Jung Institute of Chicago, Evanston, Illinois, 2002.

       RITA O'HARA: RECENT PAINTINGS AND DRAWINGS, Fine Arts Building Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, 2000.

       RITA O'HARA: RECENT WORKS, Jinx, Evanston, Illinois, 2000.

       SHADOW VISIONS, Fine Arts Building Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, 1998.

       DREAMS AND THE UNCONSCIOUS, ARC, Chicago, Illinois, 1995.

       DREAMS AND THE UNCONSCIOUS, Diversity Fine Arts Gallery, Chicago, Illinois, 1993.

       DREAMS AND THE UNCONSCIOUS, Columbia, College, Chicago, Illinois, 1992.


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