Debbie Rittner. Photograph by Michael Moran

Charlie close

  Charlie in Remembering Charlie.


Artist’s Bio: About Debbie

Debbie Rittner grew up wanting to be a spiritual leader. After 35 years of wondering whether or not to become a rabbi, she finally realized her spiritual calling in the arts. As an Artist for Sacred Healing she provides spiritual support through her art and story. Debbie's art transforms, cleanses, and heals the heart and soul.

Debbie began studying art in the late 60's and early 70's, the era of “do your own thing,” contour drawing, and collage. In the tradition of the Boston Jewish Expressionists she explores spirituality with color and imagination while telling a true life story that is representational and real.

Debbie holds a Master’s in Judaic Studies from Hebrew College where all the course work was conducted in Hebrew. A professionally-trained storyteller she performed original, “real life” stories of transformation and healing throughout New England and in Israel.

Debbie spent twenty years marketing the work of other artists. She was public affairs manager of Pro Arte Chamber Orchestra of Boston, a consultant for Pro Musicis and the Natick Historical Society, served on the Natick Cultural Council, co-founded The Amazing Open Comedy Mique, and helped found the Jewish Storytelling Coalition.

In January, 2009 Debbie returned to her visual art. Between 2009 and 2012 Debbie studied art at the Danforth Museum and DeCordova Museum Schools. Debbie currently works privately with Mathilde Duffy.

Debbie’s Art for Sacred Healing began with a stuffed leopard toy named Charlie who was a sentimental gift from her father to her mother, but nearly ended up in the trash.

Getting to know Charlie led Debbie on a spiritual path to come to terms with her mother’s dementia.

Debbie’s Prayers for Healing bring to life artistic Hebrew prayers that transform the verbal and the visual into a permanent, new realm.

Her newest body of work, Prayers from the Other Side, comfort the Mourner by providing glimpses of the eternal life of the souls of our beloved departed.

Charlie’s Story

Charlie was a romantic gift from my father to my mother from the time before I was born. My father named him, and he sat on top of my father's tall bureau for over 50 years. My sister and I were not allowed to play with him. “He belongs to your mother,” my father always said.

A few years after my father died I discovered that Charlie was missing from my father's bureau. I found him underneath my mother's desk near the front door. She said she was going to give him away to a small child. I knew he was headed for the trash. I took him home with me where he is safe behind the glass doors of our dining room cabinet.

Charlie’s story continues with Lost Charlie and Remembering Charlie in the Gallery.