Eleanor Spiess-Ferris

From her Spanish New Mexican ancestry, Eleanor has gleaned a sense of the surreal and inherited an intrinsic aptitude for the use of symbolism. This primitive insight, combined with the Western influence of artists such as 19th century symbolist Gustave Moreau, informs her artistic vision.


  • University of Mexico – B.F.A.
  • The School of the Art Institute of Chicago


Oil, gouache, conté

Areas of Focus

Surrealism, narrative figurativism



Exhibition highlights:

  • “Inside the Outside,” Hyde Park Art Center, Chicago, IL – 2014
  • “Fecundity,” Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago, IL – 2013
  • “Ophelia’s Garden,” Printworks Gallery, Chicago, IL – 2012
  • “Shallow Waters,” Augustana College, Sioux Falls, SD  2011

Publication highlights:

  • Enstice, Esynr, and Peters, Melody, Drawing: Space, Form, and Expression, 2nd ed. – 1996
  • “Exploring Imaginary Subjects,” American Artist Magazine – 1988
  • E. Lauter, Women as Mythmakers, pub. Indiana University – 1984

Eleanor loves EAC because . . .

Many of her students are now exhibiting artists, and she is proud of them and grateful for the opportunity to mentor them.

Node Highlight: 
AA - Gathering Swan - 24x24in - oil - 2002.jpg
Class Department: