Ann Salk Rosenberg's Story


As a child, Ann Salk Rosenberg’s imagination took her to places she could only dream to go. Growing up down the street from the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) provided an ironic metaphor—art was present but just out of reach. She settled for writing poetry and imagining being a painter living a life saturated with color, happiness and freedom. In practice, school, work, marriage, family and all the associated responsibilities necessitated that she push her dreams into a small forgotten corner of her being. It was as if she “was sitting on the shelf of life, like a coloring book unopened, with pages silently waiting to be filled with riotous color.

In 1994, Rosenberg’s life came to a crashing stop because of a misdiagnosed illness. She found that art was one of the few things she could do or find solace in. Because of health constraints, during this period Rosenberg was frequently only able to paint in five-minute time blocks, other times she was able to paint for days and weeks, and sometimes she was unable to work on her art for years. Her process has been slow, painful and non-linear. With time and healing, art has become a more and more significant and central source of her physical, mental, artistic and spiritual strength.

In getting in touch with her inner voice, Rosenberg knew that she had to bring large, bold colors into her life. Her first project was major—she turned her newly-acquired, previously-forsaken Victorian house in into a classic “Painted Lady,” the showy peacocks of housing architecture. On the inside, she has created an equally inspiring, exciting gallery of style. Rosenberg was able to meld the public and the private while honoring her inner muse. Her work has been recognized by the Boston Globe, WCVB-TV’s Chronicle and Inside Outside Magazine.

She feels spiritually linked and fed by her Painted Lady. Rosenberg’s first-hand experience with suffering and illness and her subsequent journey into a place of healing has given her a distinct perspective; by having intimate knowledge of the alternative, Rosenberg truly appreciates and embraces life, feels joy and knows peace. She comes to her art from this healed perspective.

She says, “If my story were to have a moral it is do not be afraid to dream. Fight like hell and if you are lucky with the wind at your back, you can fly.

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