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Rhoda LeBlanc Lopez

Biography to Display: 

1912 Born

1993 Died


1933 Detroit Art Academy, Detroit, Michigan

1934 Wayne University, Detroit, Michigan

1949-1950 Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, Michigan


1949 Studio potter/clay sculptor

1953-1959 Artist, University of Michigan Medical School

1960-1964 Mira Costa Junior College, Oceanside, California

1964-1978 Instructor, University of California Extension, San Diego, California

1969-1982 Founder and Director, Clay Dimensions, San Diego, California


Rhoda Lopez is known for the functional pieces she created after studying with Maija Grotell at Cranbrook and Daniel Rhodes. Eventually Lopez began making large scale architectural commissions that included wall murals, door and window moldings as well as free standing works.

Often these commissions used tons of clay and were constructed in one piece on large slanted tables and then cut into manageable pieces before being fired. The largest of these is 40’ long and 9’ high. These pieces were characteristically unglazed deeply carved terra cotta reliefs.

She was married to painter, Carlos Lopez an important Cuban American WPA muralist, portrait painter and teacher.  Carlos formulated glazes and glazed Lopez’s work while Rhoda sketched and worked on Carlos Lopez’ mural projects.

 Gerald Theibolt, a former student, aided her in the construction of a number of the major commissions.

Public Collections

Public Collections to Display: 

Art Center, Des Moines, Iowa

Detroit Institute of Arts, Detroit, Michigan

Scripps College, Claremont, California

University of Wisconsin, Madison, Wisconsin




Typical Marks

Signed Lopez on independent work. Signed Lopez y Lopez on collaborative work with Carlos Lopez. Signed Rhoda LeBlanc Lopez on independent or collaborative work accompanied by name of other artist, ie. collaboration with Gerald Thiebolt starting in 1978.

after 1978
Tree Sized Planter
Materials: Stoneware
Method: Slab-Built, Thrown
Surface Technique: Unglazed
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives
The Forrest L. Merrill Collection, Dane Cloutier Archives

Citation: "The Marks Project." Last modified May 2, 2023.