The main theme of Oppenheim's work is primarily to render personal responses to the female form. The plurality of her work focuses on range: bronze figurative nude sculptures, drawings, encaustics, paintings, ceramics, print and mixed media and photography.
One cannot fully understand an artist or her work and development without seeing it in relation to the history of the individual's life. As life is unpredictable, Oppenheim lost her studio and art community in 2014 in the messy end of her marriage vaulting off the disaster into something new and better. A fantastic studio is in the process of being built. Prior, she studied at The Art Students League in Manhattan. Her formal education began at Bowdoin College where she has exhibited. Oppenheim has also studied at MECA (Maine College of Art), The Art School at Old Church in Demarest, New Jersey with sculptor Janice Mauro and the Clay Art Center in Port Chester, New York. Sculptures are bronzed at local foundries, including New Foundry New York, Inc., Stewart Sculpture Casting and Polich Tallix, a full service foundry that caters to sculptors such as Tom Otterness and Frank Stella.
Oppenheim was an Artist Member of the Edward Hopper House Art Center, and a former Associate member of The National Sculpture Society and The Art School of Old Church. She previously served on the Development Committee at The Edward Hopper House Art Center. Oppenheim was also a member of Fine Arts, Fine Art Professionals and Collectors, The Art Students League of New York, and participates at the Modern Museum of Art, The Whitney Museum, and the Portland Museum of Art programming.
Oppenheim has shown work at The Edward Hopper House, The Art School of Old Church, The Clay Art Center in Port Chester, The Gene Reed Gallery, Maria Luisa of Nyack, Bowdoin College, Rockland Center for the Arts, The All Souls Church in Suffern, and Johnnycakes of Nyack. Her work is on permanent exhibition at 8 North Broadway and Johnnycakes on Main Street in Nyack, New York
George Washington once said, "Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth."
Oppenheim is a Mainer whose upbringing fostered a respect for the ocean, the mountains, the woodlands and lakes, the value of a home cooked meal with family, and all the glorious people she has met during her adventures along the way. You cannot make old friends when you are old. As her children tenderly say to her, "It wasn't nature, mom, it was nurture. It was you." These are the sweetest words that she has ever heard.
Oppenheim loves sports, especially with friends. Her need for quiet space takes her into her gardens or tending to her bees. She has summited Kilimanjaro (19,341 ft.), the highest peak in Africa; the Salkantay route (20,574 ft.), the highest peak in the Vilcabamba mountain range and part of the Peruvian Andes ending in Machu Picchu; Mt. Katahdin (5,287 ft.), the highest mountain in Maine; San Gabriel Mountains, Henninger Flats in the Angeles National Forest (2,600 ft.) and climbed into the Khumba Icefall but did not summit Mt. Everest, the Earth's highest mountain dubbed the "Stairway to Heaven," a path many a great adventurer has journeyed along one of the world's most beautiful and challenging routes (17,598 ft. at Everest Base Camp). It is not one skill but a true quantum leap that leaves no part untouched. With no exception, a person's level of commitment reflects an understanding of what one is willing to achieve. The ultimate expression of being human--that an individual does something that they did not have to do. For Oppenheim, it was just the beauty of the exercise and the difficulty of it that made it worthwhile and incredibly pleasurable.
a reverence for peace
the scarcity of justice
incensed by violence
for the people who have bullied me
look at what you have created
look at the glory
not for your adoration
you cannot dim the sun...
Oppenheim was the first woman on the Bowdoin College campus"allowed" to take the Government Department's class nicknamed "War Games" that included war simulation in the Maine woods with many members of the football team for which she earned high honors. 35 years later, her professor still remembers her. Articulated so well in "Dirty Dancing,"
"Nobody puts Baby in the corner."
To make her trek on Mt. Everest more meaningful, Oppenheim raised awareness and funds and sent a woman and mother who is a victim of domestic abuse to a highly sought after empowerment retreat to work with peak-performance experts to help her create necessary, life-changing results. Violence against women does not have to ruin a woman's life. We should not be complicit or silently accept that intimidation, physical, psychological, emotional and financial abuse quietly hides in our communities. The statistics are sobering: every day, on average, three or more women are killed in the U.S. by either their husbands or boyfriends. Observing misery doesn't help anyone. What helps is action. For Oppenheim, more fulfilling than standing on Mt. Everest is the ability to change a victim of domestic abuse's life for the better, especially a single mother whose children are living in her home. If we cannot respect and allow especially the abused the opportunity to have respect in their life, they and their children will not believe that the world is kind and good. They will be disengaged everywhere they go, and it will follow them in their lives.
Women have an innate desire to be taken care of, to be treasured, and to feel safe. Men should provide that. For any woman experiencing abuse, take back your power, your authority, and your territory. Institute peace within your walls so that you can prosper. Ask yourself these thorny questions: how, if at all, is violence against women different from other types of violence? What shifts in thinking about this issue is necessary to finally eradicate it? How does the toleration of domestic violence shape people's expectations and sense of entitlements? Ask the questions. Become an activist. It feeds you. Oppenheim has been asked to speak about the issues of domestic abuse.
After a woman is treated the absolute worst, she is able to appreciate someone treating her kindly. She has learned to fight for herself and her children. She knows that she matters. She is grateful for her own instincts as much as what everyone else had been telling her for years. She is not just grateful, but jumping for joy to be rid of the toxicity. You see in her art a peacefulness and freedom unfolding.
Though fundraising is done and goals have been achieved, please have a look at Oppenheim's "gofundme" page to learn what has been accomplished.