Faith Stewart-Gordon of Bridgewater, CT, the former owner of The Russian Tea Room in New York City, displayed her refreshing and vibrant collection of acrylic paintings at Marty’s Café in Washington, CT during the month of February, 2013.
Her most recent gallery showing marks Faith’s fourth solo show since she returned to painting in 2009 after a 6-decade hiatus. In 2009, Faith began studying with artist and teacher, Banjie Nicholas, beginning classes in color pencil, then moving to acrylics. Faith credits her friends Sarah Payson and Frannie Aeschliman for introducing her to Banjie’s class. Banjie is noted for teaching nature classes, where most of her students paint and draw from all things in nature. Faith likes to paint her own passions: dogs, landscapes, interiors, still lifes, fantasies and ruins from her travels in Italy and France.
Faith was born in Spartanburg, South Carolina in 1932. She graduated from Northwestern University in 1953, majoring in theatre. She has enjoyed an exciting and varied career: acting on Broadway, in films and on television. Perhaps most notably, Faith is the former owner of the famed New York institution, The Russian Tea Room, where Faith’s response regarding her location in famous radio ads was, “Six minutes and twenty-three seconds from Lincoln Center and slightly to the left of Carnegie Hall.” Faith owned and operated the exclusive restaurant, event venue for 29 years. It is where actors, writers, musicians and politicians wined and dined. While owner of the RTR, Faith built an art collection and displayed it in the restaurant. She also launched the elegant Russian Tea Room Cabaret, where singers and composers vied for coveted Sunday and Monday night engagements.
Faith began formal painting instruction at age 7. She credits her mother with enrolling her in painting class with well-known portrait painter, Grace Dupre, a resident of Spartanburg. Faith began working in charcoal, then in pastels, then in oils. She left off her art studies when she became interested in acting in high school.
Faith’s previous art shows have been in Montesarchio, Italy (2010) where her theme was the ruins of Pompeii and Herculaneum, at the Silo Gallery in New Milford, CT (2011), and at the Minor Memorial Library in Roxbury, CT (2012). Some acrylic paintings of Faith’s can also be seen at one of her favorite local eateries, The Upper Crust, on Route 202 in New Milford, CT and at the Washington Art Association’s members’ show.
Faith is also an author, having written and published three books, including a cookbook and a memoir, “The Russian Tea Room, A Love Story.”