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Marsha Heller

Leonia, New Jersey

Marsha Heller in front of one of her paintingsBorn in Cleveland in 1939 into a family of artists—mother, aunts, uncles, sister and brother—Marsha naturally decided to follow in their footsteps. She studied at Oberlin College and Conservatory in Ohio, University Mozarteum Salzburg in Austria, as well as in New York with the magnificent oboist and painter, Harold Gomberg.

As a career as an oboist took shape and after winning the Concert Artists’ Guild competition she began to design fliers and posters for her recitals. As an interest in the visual arts flourished she decided to attend the School of Visual Arts to learn techniques of graphic design, and then took painting classes with Irving Marantz at New York University. Summers at Chautauqua with abstract painter Revington Arthur followed; then serendipity sent her to Sam Feinstein, an acclaimed painter with whom she worked intensively with from 1986-2003.

Veering toward a visual expression of her creativity has allowed a new freedom to reflect in her music-making. She likes to let certain subjects in her paintings shimmer, as certain notes in a melody vibrate, lighting up canvas or phrase from within. Her landscapes celebrate the sensuality of nature as she finds her in the crannies and corners of her garden in Leonia, as well as out-of-way spots encountered in her travels as a musician.

“Miss Heller’s color creates a shimmering surface in her landscapes. Warm and cool, light and dark they dance around the canvas until flowers, bushes or trees emerge from a tapestry of marks. The seductive mosaic of color is satisfying in itself.”
—Artspeak Magazine