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. – where she would later return to teach – 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.

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 active in her Great Falls community, as a leader in arts education with the local PTA, a member of many arts organizations, and a teacher/speaker for interested groups.  Ronni’s interests outside of her art studio reflect the areas where she finds her inspiration: family, travel, music, and theater.

Artistic Training

  • Almalfi Music and Arts Program / Almalfi, Italy / 2004
  • The Art League School / Alexandria, VA / 1997-2003
  • Corcoran School of Art / Washington, DC / Graduate Art Classes / 1980-1994
  • Boston Museum of Fine Arts / Boston, MA / Graduate Art Classes / 1978-1980
  • Cornell University / Ithaca, NY / Bachelor of Arts / 1978

Experience as Art Educator

  • Middle School Art Teacher, The Flint Hill School/Oakton, Virginia, 1991-1999
  • Middle School Art Teacher, The Sidwell Friends School, Wash DC, 1982–1991
  • Project Coordinator, National Geographic Society, Washington DC, 1980-1982

Here’s Ronni in her studio: