Who am I?

Halley Ritter is a contemporary painter, printmaker, installation artist, and curator living and working on Treaty 1 Territory.
She’s fixated, in her life and work, on the subjects of memory and collective identity in the context of contemporary Jewish culture.

Artist Statement       

My Jewish identity informs and inspires my work and, in turn, my art has become an in-depth exploration of what Jewish identity means. My practice is primarily based in painting, printmaking, installation, and curation in my pursuance of a visual language with which to honestly express the contemporary Jewish experience. 

The Jewish tradition is one of survival, celebration, storytelling, and layers of nostalgia. We’re taught from a young age to remember history as though we’ve personally experienced everything that has ever happened to the Jewish people. As such, inheriting memories  - remembering things I never knew to begin with, recalling places I’ve never been and people I’ve never held - has always been a common practice for me. On the other hand, though, Judaism begs us to live new and exciting lives, doing things differently than they’ve ever been done before. 

It’s strange to be a part and product of an ancient collective identity and also to be my own brand new, original little entity of a person all at once, and it’s something that becomes more interesting to me as I explore it through my art. In my current work, I am interested in the duelling notions of collective and personal identity as they relate to the contemporary western Jewish experience. My work is largely focused in the past, on stories, nostalgia, and especially the concept of memory. I experiment with different visual strategies - use of negative space, distortion, repetition, juxtaposition of detailed renderings and vague abstractions - to replicate the fleeting nature of memory and evoke the feeling of fighting to remember things that are just out of reach.

I aim to create an experience just at the border of familiarity and the unknown, placing audiences within an immersive environment that still allows space for each person to find their own place within the narrative I’ve built. Self-reflection, in both processes of creating my art and viewing it, is a crucial element of my practice.
2016 - 21 Bachelor of Fine Arts, Honours, University of Manitoba School of Art

Group Exhibitions:11/2019    Utopias, School of Art Student Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba 11/2019    SOFA Student Show, The Edge Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba 10/2019    Art School Our School, Artlab, Winnipeg, Manitoba 4/2019      SOFA Student Show, The Edge Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba 11/2018    Show and Create, The Edge Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba 4/2018      Yellow Street, Artlab, Winnipeg, Manitoba
4/2017      Yellow Street, Artlab, Winnipeg, Manitoba

11/2019    Democracy Underfoot, Pool Room Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba 11/2019    Utopias, School of Art Student Gallery, Winnipeg, Manitoba

Professional Experience and Achievements:
2021          Featured in Simcha Zine Volume One: Beginnings 2021          Design for club merchandise commissioned (Her Campus Carleton) 7/2020       Four large scale murals commissioned (Camp Massad Manitoba)4/2020       Elected University of Manitoba School of Art Student Senator 2020          Designs for merchandise commissioned (Camp Massad Manitoba) 2018-19     Winner of Camp Massad Manitoba’s open call for new logo designs 2018-19     Volunteer Art Programming Facilitator, CanU Youth Program
2018-19     University of Manitoba School of Art Student Association Secretary
6-8/2016    Arts and Crafts Programming Coordinator, Camp Massad Manitoba

2016-21      Dean’s Honour List, University of Manitoba School of Art 2020           University of Manitoba General Scholarship - School of Art       
2019           Gissur Eliasson Memorial Scholarship
2016           Lifetouch Scholarship for Artistic Achievement
thanks for scrolling all the way through (✿◠‿◠)
I think this means we’re besties now!!!