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Houston-based artist Ellen Orseck paints images of figures submerged in water, sumo wrestlers immersed in food, people wrapped in technology, abstractions of creation, space, and turbulent weather. Her underwater series “Submerged” was displayed at 80 Washington Square East Gallery in New York City, at Nauhaus Gallery and the Texas Collaborative Space in Houston.  Orseck’s paintings of tornadoes were selected to represent Texas artists at the National Museum in Lima, Peru, as well as in Houston’s City Hall. 


She presented a solo exhibit of underwater images at Nicole Longnecker Gallery.  Her portraits of creative artists, “Made in Texas,” showed at Bering and James Gallery in Houston and her “Storms, Sumos and Sweets,” presented a view of sumo wrestlers, desserts and tornados at The University of Houston/Downtown O’Kane Gallery. 

Throughout her career, Orseck has earned public arts commissions from state arts councils, corporate collectors and private patrons in Texas, Oklahoma, Virginia, the District of Columbia and Maryland.


Her largest public commission was a mural awarded by the National Endowment for the Arts in her hometown of Baltimore, Maryland. From a group of 1,600 Texas artists, Orseck was selected as one of the 105 finalists for The Hunting Prize.  Her watercolor designs were used to create Torah covers for Congregation Brith Shalom in Houston and her artwork has been featured at the Jewish Community Center in Houston for exhibits that focus on the High Holy Days.


She earned her Master’s Degree in Painting from New York University, which included one semester in Venice, Italy, and two in New York City. As an undergraduate, Orseck studied painting at the Maryland Institute College of Art in Baltimore and earned a Masters Degree in Museum Education at George Washington University. Her post- graduate education also included four years at The Glassell School of Art. 


Describing her most recent artwork Orseck said, “Whether I am painting fully clothed figures floating underwater or sumo wrestler dolls immersed in chocolate cake, my subjects are characters in a narrative.  At times grave and at times beautiful, the subjects are selected to evoke different responses to life.”


Orseck is an art instructor at Rice University Susanne M. Glasscock School and Watercolor Art Society, Houston. She shows her work at Carolyn Garcia Gallery, Mother Dog Studios and Flatlands Gallery and works from her studio at 2101 Winter Street.


Photo credit: William H. Miller

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