About the Artist
A. Reneé Holmes was born in Los Angeles County, CA and, for the majority of her childhood, raised by her grandparents in a small town in South Georgia. Her grandparents instilled in her a strong sense of commitment, a keen awareness of right and wrong, and an unwavering moral core that guided her into adulthood. Because of their example, she learned to place a great deal of value on treating others with dignity and respect. Today, this deeply-rooted moral core informs her ideas for her work.
Married with two adult children, Reneé spent her youth and college days taking art classes; however, she pursued an unrelated degree and career. During the first 10 years in that career, an unfulfilled desire to learn more about the art world began to grow, so she began studying art by visiting the library, self-teaching through videos created by contemporary artists, and attending artist workshops. Eventually, after 20+ years, she left her career to seriously pursue a career as an artist.
Because she desired to draw and paint the figure realistically, she began studying under an artist friend and mentor who, after spending years as a car salesman, and surviving cancer, pursued and became a well-respected professional artist.
Learning from him for several years increased Reneé’s desire to pursue art as a profession; so, she decided to take a few art classes at a local university where a friend showed her work created by an online undergraduate AAU student, her first introduction to the Academy of Art University. She decided to explore the possibility of pursuing an MFA from AAU because of its emphasis on the fundamentals.
During her early days at AAU, she often spoke with a cousin who spent most of his life away from art. Shortly after returning to art, he fell seriously ill with leukemia. Sadly, within 10 months of being diagnosed, he lost that battle. Because he knew his illness was terminal, he knew he had waited until too late for life as an artist. So, he often stressed to her the importance of not waiting until it’s too late, “…like I did because life is too short”. A few years later, her mentor's cancer returned. Sadly, after spending more than 20 years as a successful artist, within a few months, he succumbed to cancer.
Reneé has taken to heart the words of her cousin and mentor, working hard to find her artistic voice which is exemplified in her most recent body of work, Just People. Thanks in large part to their advice, she is on the verge of completing her MFA at AAU.
A Reneé Holmes