Lorraine Chesin

Photo by G. Gold


Lorraine began college courses at Adirondack Community College as a mature returning student. After she received her Associates degree, she applied to and was accepted as an Art Major at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs. She graduated from Skidmore College with a BS at age 35 and subsequently took a position as an Art Teacher at the Hudson Falls High School. Her work with the adolescents in the art room led her to seek a Masters of Social Work. To quote Lorraine, “Many of the youngsters had personal problems which they shared with me and that became more interesting to me than the art I was attempting to teach.”
After returning to school and graduating with an MSW from the State University of Albany School of Social Work in 1977, Lorraine subsequently went to work for the Rensselaer County Department of Mental Health. Her initial interest was in working as an Art Therapist, but she eventually found her way from clinical work to administrative duties. After several years of service, Lorraine was appointed Commissioner of Mental Health and served as such for ten years. Lorraine retired ten years ago and went back to her first love of art.
When Lorraine returned to her art, she rented a studio and began to paint furiously but with a very different style and method. Her professional training and personal journey gave her a new confidence to experiment, play and enjoy the creating without being concerned that her art would be critiqued or evaluated. It has been a wonderful experience for her and Lorraine now has her own studio in her home.
Needlepoint designs relate to Lorraine’s paintings inasmuch as the subject generally follows a series of paintings. She generally paints during the day and the needlepoint designs are done in the evenings. The needlepoint designs are approximately 15x18 inches, while the paintings are becoming larger than the original 18 x 24 inch canvases. Most are now 36 x 36 with some plans to become even larger. A new series of smaller mixed media paintings depict personal childhood stories.


Copyright © Lorraine Chesin. All rights reserved.