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Celeste in Wiesbaden, Germany, 2012

Celeste Ann Simon Ryder was born in Baltimore, Maryland on June 26, 1961. After completing her undergraduate studies in French and Fine Arts at Dickinson College in Carlisle, Pennsylvania in 1983, she moved to New York City and worked for a year as a French teacher to 5th and 6th graders at a small private school called The Town School.  When school let out mid-afternoon, this starry-eyed 22 year old would board the N-train crosstown to the Art Students’ League of New York for an evening painting class with Ted Seth Jacobs. This first year on her own proved to be one of the most beautiful and inspiring years of her life.  Upon learning of her rather impractical career choice, Celeste’s father sent her a telegram saying,  “If Mary Cassatt could do it, so can you.”Celeste studied with Ted from 1983 until 1989, during which time she also met Anthony J. Ryder (a.k.a. Tony) her future husband. In 1989, the couple drove across the country with their few belongings to New Mexico. Reno Myerson and Cynthia West, long time Santa Fe residents, patrons of the arts and artists themselves, invited Tony and Celeste to live in one of their homes. The old adobe was affectionately called “The Bohemian Embassy.”  Reno and Cynthia provided Tony and Celeste not only with lodging, but also a studio…for free.  There they hired models and “kneaded the dough” of Ted’s teaching.

Today, grateful to God and all of her many benefactors, Celeste Ryder is delighted to be painting and teaching at The Ryder Studio School.

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Celeste sketching for Ali with Abid at the easle 

Celeste, Rembrandt Pilgrimage, Amsterdam, 2012

© Anthony Ryder 2019