Five Minutes With: Artist Linda Rorer

March 4, 2011 

The latest stop for Linda Rorer's art is in Hong Kong.

"Moon Dance" is part of a "Year of the Rabbit" show at Savannah College of Art and Design's Moot Gallery on its Hong Kong campus.

Rorer has lived and shown in places as far as France and South Africa. But when she needs to escape, she always comes back to her Hilton Head Island home.

Rorer discusses what keeps her on the island.

Question. How did your work end up in the show in Hong Kong?

Answer. It's a juried show. It's the year of the rabbit, and I have a rabbit. I look at all different sorts of shows. I'm also going to France this summer. I have a presidential scholarship sponsored by the French government. I'll paint and have a show there in the fall. But Hilton Head is home.

Q. You've been on Hilton Head since 1972. What keeps you here?

A. I sell "pretty" for a living. So this is a perfect place to be. When I'm here, I end up painting the environment. I come in and out. I also have a place in Atlanta. Hilton Head is a place to paint and think about painting. When I need to get away, I go to Atlanta. That's just how I grew up. I'm from Virginia. My dad was in aviation. We had an airstrip. We lived on a farm half the year and lived in Manhattan (N.Y.) for the other half of the year.

Q. What was the arts scene like when you first got here?

A. There were not as many (artists) but (the art was) very high quality. It was basically a retreat. That's exactly why I'm here now. It's secluded; it's quiet. All I hear is the clank of the boats.

Q. When did you start painting?

A. I had my first painting lesson when I was 7. I got my first camera when I was 8.

I ended up being the first portrait photographer on Hilton Head. For 11 years, I had a studio. I always had one foot in the painting world and one foot in the photography world and never really felt like I totally fit in both worlds.

But now it's OK because I just do mixed media, too.

Q. Ever have any thoughts about doing anything different?

A. I've done other things but quit. My dad gave me some great advice. He said, "Take something in your field." Even if you don't make as much as you would somewhere else, over the years you end up accumulating experiences and it develops. It ends up making you who you are.

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