“Looking past the obvious, close observation affords me the opportunity to hone precise attention to detail. Detail provides intimacy between myself and the subject which I translate into my work. I am inspired by detail. My prioritized life has encompassed marriage, children and teaching high school art. The last decade has awarded me time to add my artwork to life’s priorities and I find a wealth of subjects in family and friends. I admire and appreciate the realism in the work of Oklahoma’s Mike Wimmer and British artist Howard Weaver. To discuss my artwork, teaching must be included, for the two have become intertwined. My teaching is an exchange, as I seek to inform and motivate, my students share exuberance and energy. The pieces exhibited are a collection from recent years and show my growth as an artist. I hope to encourage those who see this work, to look more carefully at their world, and discover beauty in unusual places.”
Born in Oklahoma, Ranell Zurmehly grew up in Midwest City and graduated from Southwestern Oklahoma State University in Weatherford, with a BA in art education. After marriage and two children, she joined the faculty of Carl Albert High School as the art instructor. Twenty-three years later in 2020, she retired from public education and began as an art instructor at Mt. Saint Mary High School in Oklahoma City. Her artwork is based in drawing using media such as oil, acrylic, colored pencil, and her favorite, graphite. Beginning in 2014, her artwork has been included in the Oklahoma Art Education Association’s annual members’ exhibit. Her colored pencil piece titled Pistol was selected for inclusion in the National Art Education Association members’ exhibit, 2018 virtual gallery, and her graphite drawing, Winnie, was a 2019 selection. In 2022, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Elementary School in Edmond featured two of her works in their annual Seton Soiree. The past three summers she has worked as a College Board AP Studio Art and Design Reader scoring student portfolios. She keeps busy with private commissions and working as an art education advocate through the Oklahoma Art Education Association, the Oklahoma Alliance for Arts Education and serving on the Oklahoma State Department of Education Fine Arts Academic Standards Executive Committee in 2019 and 2020. Ranell and her husband of thirty-nine years make their home in Edmond.