Rhea Rose is a portrait artist and muralist mainly, but she is an all-around creative. She is an art instructor and has dabbled in face and body painting, graphic design, sign painting, woodworking, and jewelry making.
She was born in Los Angeles to a young mother, reluctant to put her up for adoption in hopes of a more stable life. She was adopted 6 months later by a loving military couple and she grew up in 2 countries and 4 different U.S. states. She spent long hours building, creating, and drawing, but was steadfast in her pursuit of a career in the medical field. From the ages 13-15, she was able to attend the Suitland High School Visual and Performing Arts Program where she learned to hone her skills in art and found oneness with her artistic classmates like she had not experienced before. Nevertheless, she was relocated once again before having the chance to complete grade school there and stayed focused on the pursuit of her medical career. Then, just months away from graduating high school, with a full scholarship to study veterinary medicine at her father’s alma mater, Tuskegee University, she found out she was going to bring a new life into the world. She fell in love with the idea of motherhood and decided to forgo the scholarship to be a stay-at-home mother. And that she did, but not long after her creativity began to brew and she began to dabble back into the arts.
First, she tried apprenticing under a local fashion designer, then quickly returned to her love of drawing and painting. It was the perfect marriage of engaged motherhood and creative expression. This was the birth of the Phoenix Art Studio in 2001. It was started with the aid of Killeen’s Carol’s Art Gallery. She acquired an Associate’s Degree in Commercial Arts from Central Texas College. She also received informal training under Moody muralist/portrait artist Sandy Dusek, and Killeen photographer/muralist/film art director Rudy Calooy, Jr. Rhea has also had the pleasure of working with Gospel recording artist Vicki Winans, HGTV’s Valarie Billings Swayne, original female Hip Hop MC Sha-Rock and more.
From 2001-2012 Rhea was a Killeen Civic Art Guild member until her move to Austin, TX. In 2006 she was awarded the ESGR Patriotic Employer Award. In 2008 she began donating her gift to honor the sacrifice that many military families have made in this country by painting portraits of fallen soldiers free of charge and assisting the Combat Warrior Crisis Network (now known as Take a Soldier Fishing). In 2009 Rhea joined the Texas Design Network, which provides room makeovers free of charge for deserving Texas families. And as of 2019 has been using her art to help support programs such as the Hope Alliance Crisis Network, the Joyful Inspiration domestic violence survivor support organization, and the Impac Outreach youth organization. She has also provided work to interior decorators April Aduddell and XO Erin Events and Interior Design. Rhea has taught art classes to adults and children at several locations in the Central Texas Area including Central Texas College, Painting with a Twist, and Cordovan Art School.
Rhea Rose’s art has developed into a fusion of abstraction and realism that tells the story of strength and resilience through portraiture. She has traveled with her art throughout Texas, Louisiana, Florida, Georgia, New York, and Kansas. Rhea hopes to even travel internationally with her pieces and share the gift of art with people.