Rhonda's Bio

Rhonda Polen Wernick was born to Arlene and Leo Polen in Chicago, Illinois. Her father Leo, a Holocaust survivor, instilled in her compassion and a love of life that projects in her artwork. Rhonda was in art classes before kindergarten and won her first award for a painting during one of those classes. Piano started at 6 as did dance. After years of piano, art and dance lessons, she decided on a degree in Commercial Art from Central State University, in Edmond, Oklahoma, now known as The University of Central Oklahoma.

Rhonda worked in Oklahoma as a freelance artist, illustrator and art director before having 2 children. After that teaching private art classes kept her busy as well as publishing 2 books on painting technique; Sophisticated Touch and Contours. The publications of those books led to demonstrating for fine art paint and brush companies at trade shows.

Growing up, Rhonda had always loved dancing with her father at social and family gatherings. That love eventually drew her to a ballroom dance studio in Oklahoma City. They taught her steps, and in turn found in her an artist to paint their t-shirts, studio and sets. Rhonda discovered she was born to dance as well as to paint and first competed in ballroom dance in 1990. The two were a perfect match and led her to paint and illustrate ballroom dancing until 2007. A job opportunity for her husband moved their family to Nashville in 1994, and together they started DancingArt®. For 13 years, Rhonda traveled the US displaying her artwork and novelty items. Her work has appeared in numerous dance publications, on book covers and CD covers, and in a set design for the MGM movie "A Guy Thing". She is nationally recognized as the premier dance illustrator in the industry. Studios and events around the world display her work as logos and awards. "DancingArt®" has sold pieces worldwide and now provides originals, prints, note cards, stationery, and gifts available on the website,
www.DancingArt.com and www.BuyArtbyRhonda.com.

In 2007 brought to Rhonda a desire to get back to painting a broader spectrum of subjects. This new phase of her art "blossomed," reflecting her love for flowers, which she photographs on location and grows in her garden. Friendship and pets are also frequent subjects of her latest works, which direct the passion inherent in her dance pieces into portrayals of intimate conversation among friends and the beauty of her garden's bounty. She also creates realistic images of wine and other beverages. Her technical skill, use of color and stroke, and depth of feeling, combine to produce engaging images.


Career Highlights of the Artist:

  • Rhonda is recognized nationally as the premier dance illustrator in the industry.
  • Studios and events around the world display her work as logos and awards.
  • "DancingArt®" has sold pieces worldwide and now provides originals, prints, note cards, stationery, and gifts on the website, dancingart.com. DancingArt® also offers a complete graphic art service.
  • Rhonda's work has appeared numerous times on the cover of Dancing USA magazine.
  • Her art is featured on the covers of Three Minutes of Intimacy, a book on dance by Craig Marcott, and a novel by Theresa Liggins
  • She was commissioned to design a CD cover for musician, Stacy Beyer.
  • Rhonda's art is featured on many dance-related web pages.
  • Four of Rhonda's drawings were used on the set of MGM's "A Guy Thing," released summer of 2003
  • She has been the subject of feature articles in the dance magazines Dance Retailer News, Dance Teacher, 5678, Dancing USA and Dance Notes, and has been featured in articles in the Tennessean, The One Paper, the City Paper and the Edmond Sun in Oklahoma.
  • Rhonda's work has been commissioned by world dance champions such as Bob Powers and Julie Gorchakova, Bill Sparks and Kimberly Mitchell, David and Leslie Elkin, Susie Thompson and Michael Neil, Ben and Shalene Ermis, David Hamilton, and numerous others.
  • US 10-Dance champions Gary and Diana McDonald and World 10-Dance Champions Anik Jolicouer and Alain Doucett are also owners of her work, as are NFL Tennessee Titan Football President, Jeff Diamond and frequent dance competition Master of Ceremonies, John DePalma.
  • Rhonda has completed several "one woman" shows in Nashville, TN, and Oklahoma. She plans to expand showings in galleries throughout the US.
  • Rhonda's artwork also hangs in the Nashville offices of Wang Vision Institute, The Vanderbilt Center for Women's Imaging, Dance Connection, Dance World, National Dance Clubs of Belle Meade, Othello's restaurant in Edmond, Oklahoma, and the home of Oklahoma University President David and Molly Boren in Norman, Oklahoma; most recently, she has completed a 25' x 6' mural at the home of Dr. Pam and Steve Hamilton.
  • Some who have retained her to design and produce the artwork for their company logos, ads and promotions are Ben and Shalene Ermis, former US Champions in American Smooth Ballroom Dancing; David Medeiros, ranked in the top 6 Rhythm Dance Champions and organizer of the Volunteer State Dance Challenge; Lyn Wallander, owner of Lyn Wallander Designs, maker of custom-designed dance costumes, Showtime Dance Shoes, Vanderbilt Institute of Imaging Science, Wang Vision Institute, Hearing Services of Tennessee,; Vanderbilt Center for Women's Imaging, and many more.
  • The beautiful Dance Studio Dance World TN features Rhonda's artwork all over their walls, as well as on their website and on their logo.
  • The Oklahoma Chapter of the American Heart Association selected one of Rhonda's paintings for the traveling show and art auction celebrating its 2008 "Go Red" campaign
  • Rhonda presently sits on the board of trustees for the Nashville Gordon Jewish Community Center. She has co-chaired the decorations for the 2003 2008 GJCC Main Events, and is the 2009/10 co-chair for the Nashville Temple Arts Festival.
  • Gallery artist at Ruthie Cherry Fine Art in Nashville, TN
  • Gallery artist at Jester's Art and Gifts
  • Gallery artist with York and Friends in Nashville and Memphis, TN
  • 1st place winner, mixed media, Tennesse Art League 2010 juried show.
Happiness is a journey, not a destination...