Rosemary Feit Covey was born in 1954 in Johannesburg, South Africa. She was educated at Cornell University and the Maryland Institute of Art. Her images are driven by a strong personal vision partly shaped by her childhood in rich apartheid South Africa and her family’s European heritage. She often uses dark themes dealing with fear, loss, illness and death. Recently Covey was awarded a Rockefeller Foundation Fellowship at the Bellagio Conference and Study Center in Italy to work on the first phase of her project titled, “Vanitas Vanitas”.
Covey had her first solo museum show in 1997 at the Butler Institute of American Art in Ohio. She was also invited to be included in a number of group exhibitions, including “Women Printmakers: 18th Century to Present Day” at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and The Man and Beast Exhibition at the National Museum of American Art.
When Covey was in her twenties, she was once told that she could not make a living as a wood engraver. More than twenty years later she has proven otherwise and, as a result, she often lectures on the possibilities and realities of a career as an artist. Covey illustrated several editorials for the Washington Post on South Africa, fueling an interest in revisiting her homeland. Consequently, she made five trips back to South Africa.
In 1991, Covey and a small group of other artists and art historians were invited to lecture to art students in China. In 1993 she was awarded an Alpha Delta Kappa Foundation National Fine Art Grant to work with master printer Henry Morris of the Bird & Bull Press in Pennsylvania. Her work with Morris led to a commission for twenty-five prints for the book, “Peking Street Peddlers”. In 1997 Covey won a Juror’s Commendation in the Boston Printmaker’s 50th Anniversary North American Print Exhibition and, during the same year, she was invited to become a permanent member of the Boston Printmakers.
Other awards include First Prize by Susan Fisher Sterling, Curator of Modern Art at the National Museum of Women in the Arts and inclusion in “Prints/Washington” in 1997 at the Corcoran Gallery of Art for the Icon Show in 1998. Covey maintains an open studio at the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Virginia.