Lela Rohrer Stech
I live by a beautiful lake in New York with my two children. Creating and making art has become a refuge for healing while working through some tough life transitions. I believe there is always something beautiful in the unexpected. My dream is to share what I have learned with others.
While growing up on a farm in Paradise, Pennsylvania, I dreamed of making it big – becoming a journalist and living in New York City.
Life, however, took me in a different direction. I married less than a year after graduating from Virginia Commonwealth University with a BS in Mass Communications. We moved around quite a bit for my husband’s job and during that time I earned a Masters in Elementary Education.
It was during my pregnancy with my daughter that I rediscovered art and my passion for it. After having children, I loved creating with them. From life-size portraits to abstract paintings and collages, we were frequently making stuff.
One of our moves gave me the opportunity to experience living in the chaos of Cairo, Egypt with two young children. The year we spent there was not nearly long enough, but I had the opportunity to be the editor of and write for the Maadi Messenger, a magazine for expatriates.
Following Egypt I then maneuvered life outside of the city that never sleeps, Moscow, Russia, for almost seven years. It was during that time that I sold my first painting. I also had the opportunity to donate two large pieces which were auctioned at a gala event and brought in thousands of dollars for local charities. Living in Moscow had its challenges and art was always therapeutic for me.
Now I am living in New York State with my son. My daughter has begun the adventure of college. My husband and I are no longer living together. Moving back to the States after so many years away presented more daunting transitions than I expected. After avoiding creating for several years I have begun again and am healing and growing.