Merlene Schain

Sarah Stolar and Merlene Schain at SFMOMA, 2012, photo credit Jeff Medinas
Merlene Schain is a painter and mixed-media artist. She holds a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, an MFA from the University of Cincinnati, and she has been exhibiting internationally since 1972.
Cincinnati born, in the family lineage of Rookwood Pottery and German master painter Adolph von Menzel, Merlene Schain is an acclaimed art educator in the Midwest. Founder of Schain Studios, an independent art school established in 1989, Merlene is responsible for mentoring students in achieving over 300 regional and national Scholastic awards, and over $900,000 in college scholarship money from top art schools across the country.
She has also been a Visiting Professor at the University of Cincinnati and Art Academy of Cincinnati. Her own artwork is in several prestigious private and public collections including Fidelity Investments, Merrill Dow, and Lifesphere, among others. Recently, Merlene Schain retired from teaching and moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico focus on her work.
Merlene Schain’s current studio space with a selection of new drawings on the wall.
Cultural Harmony, ink and acrylic on Stonehenge paper, 44×84”, 2013
Hazel Nut Tree, Sumi ink on Stonehenge paper, approx. 12×6”, 2018, photo credit Heather Marie Bergerson
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  1. […] Sarah Stolar spoke to us shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic set in when she was set to travel to Ireland for residency. She spoke to us again and reports that she was able to go and complete residency but when she was there travel restrictions went into effect. She was unable to complete the research she had planned for her work The Grief Project. Stolar describes Dublin on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day as a ghost town. Now in quarantine, she is diving into drawing and large scale portraits that personify the five stages of grief as party girl women in a fictitious club. Stolar has also begun sewing masks as well as becoming an online teacher. Her mother, Merlene Schain, is an artist with an incredible history. Schain persevered in her art career through the 60s despite the male dominance of the art world at the time, double majoring in painting and ceramics at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Schain, her daughter says, refused to take no for answer. Schain suffers from dementia and yet continues to paint. To hear Sarah Stolar talk about her tenacious, remarkable mother, an artist who stood up against the sexism of the 1960s and 1970s art world and whose career has a lasting impact, listen to the complete interview. […]

  2. […] Sarah Stolar spoke to us shortly before the COVID-19 pandemic set in when she was set to travel to Ireland for residency. She spoke to us again and reports that she was able to go and complete residency but when she was there travel restrictions went into effect. She was unable to complete the research she had planned for her work The Grief Project. Stolar describes Dublin on the eve of St. Patrick’s Day as a ghost town. Now in quarantine, she is diving into drawing and large scale portraits that personify the five stages of grief as party girl women in a fictitious club. Stolar has also begun sewing masks as well as becoming an online teacher. Her mother, Merlene Schain, is an artist with an incredible history. Schain persevered in her art career through the 60s despite the male dominance of the art world at the time, double majoring in painting and ceramics at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Schain, her daughter says, refused to take no for answer. Schain suffers from dementia and yet continues to paint. To hear Sarah Stolar talk about her tenacious, remarkable mother, an artist who stood up against the sexism of the 1960s and 1970s art world and whose career has a lasting impact, listen to the complete interview. […]