Renee Balfour is an award-winning painter from central Virginia who has been exhibiting nationally and internationally in group and solo exhibitions, for over 30 years. She is co-author of The Virginia Visual Arts Resource Directory and is a past president of McGuffey Art Center, downtown Charlottesville, where she maintains a studio.
She is well known for her large paintings in which she magnifies her subjects so that specific organic references are lost and abstraction takes over. She works in neutral, subtle palettes, designed to enable fluid transitions in hue. Viewed from a distance, luminous highlights come forward, while rich, cavernous darks recede into the background. She deftly uses pale tones to illuminate edges and highlight focal points.
Ms. Balfour is a gifted teacher and arts advocate. In 2010 she established Art With Heart, and raised funds for the University of Virginia Children’s Hospital through the sale of children’s artwork. She founded Community Art Works, (formerly Art with a MIssion Charlottesville) an organization dedicated to the empowerment of children through the arts, working to establish sustainable arts programming for children in Rwanda. In 2013 she traveled to Kigali, Rwanda, to teach art to children in orphanages and youth headed households, and spearheaded the exhibition (Gukiza) and sale of their work to support financial, mental and emotional health of vulnerable children.