Saturday, December 19, 2015

ONE OF NEW IBERIA’S RENAISSANCE WOMEN

Rose Anne Raphael
Rose Anne Raphael
As I was leaving the home of Helen and Rose Anne Raphael here in New Iberia, Louisiana a few weeks ago, I noticed four exquisite hand-tinted etchings hanging in the foyer and asked who had done them. I wasn’t surprised to learn that Rose Anne had rendered them and had won an award for all four prints in the Yozo Hamaguchi Printmaking Scholarship Exhibition at the California College of the Arts in 2003. The coveted award recognized Rose Anne as an outstanding student in printmaking and was endowed by Yozo Hamaguchi and his wife Minami Keiko, artists of international reputation who were born in Japan and lived in France many years before going to San Francisco in 1982. Mr. Hamaguchi was a renowned master of color mezzotint printing, and Rose Anne’s award acclaimed her as a student who contributed substantially to the quality of printmaking.

Peace Loving Gadget, etching of Rose Anne Raphael's
"Peace Loving Gadget," etching
by Raphael
Rose Anne graduated from the University of California at San Diego with a B.A. in English and American Literature and received a Higher Diploma in post-graduate work in Anglo-Irish Literature from the University of Dublin, Trinity College, before migrating to San Francisco and settling in Berkeley. At Berkeley she established her own freelance public relations business, operating it for twenty years. In 2000, Rose Anne decided to concentrate on painting and drawing at the San Francisco Art Institute, then transferred to the California College of the Arts in Oakland, California where she received a BFA in 2004. During this time, she scheduled the printmaking class that fostered the exquisite, award-winning prints. She also participated in several Spring Shows at the San Francisco Art Institute in 2001 and 2002.


One of Rose Anne’s sideline vocations has been voice and singing, and she has performed as a voiceover artist for public service announcements in California, as well as subtitle readings for international children’s films. Recently, she did voice acting and crew work for By Mouth Only, a film produced by James Edmunds of New Iberia. Another art form in which Rose Anne excels is photography – she appeared in a 2003 National Juried Exhibition at the Artisans Gallery, Mill Valley, California, and won an honorable mention at LSU’s National Compact Competition in 2007. She also was a set designer for theatre in northern California for ten years.

Rose Anne did graduate work toward her MFA at UC Davis before moving back to New Iberia after her father, Morris Raphael, died in 2011. Since that time she has been busy putting his papers in order so that they could be housed in the archives at the University of Louisiana at Lafayette. She has become her mother Helen’s constant companion since moving to New Iberia.

The Big Idea, etching by Rose Anne Raphael
"The Big Idea," etching
by Raphael
A modest person who has been among my closest friends for 35 years, Rose Anne says she doesn’t yearn for fame and recognition but enjoys her various occupations, all of which showcase her diverse gifts. She is a member of the Fortnightly Literary Club, the St. Martinville Garden Club, is a volunteer for the Bayou Teche Museum in New Iberia, a committee member for the Dave Robicheaux Literary Festival scheduled for April, 2016 in New Iberia, and sang in the choir of the First Presbyterian Church where her mother Helen has worshipped for many years. In her spare time, she works on her art, most recently in watercolors, and maintains a website on the Internet (www.raraphael.webs.com) that features a collection of art work she has done. She’s also working on a play based on one of my books, Goat Man Murder, which is set in her father’s birthplace, Natchez, Mississippi.

Rose Anne says she’s excited about being back in New Iberia where the cultural life is “amazing,” and New Iberia is excited about having her back in Teche country. She’s definitely one of those Renaissance women who’ll enrich the arts and culture in the Queen City, and we hope that her renewed thirst for bayou water will keep her here! 





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