A self-taught artist born in NYC who has lived in New Orleans for twelve years, Emilie Rhys is the daughter of legendary NYC/NOLA artist Noel Rockmore. Her art career spans 47 years, covering a wide variety of subjects, with a particular focus on New Orleans music since 2011—work that was showcased during 2020–21 at the New Orleans Jazz Museum in the exhibit New Orleans Music Observed: The Art of Noel Rockmore and Emilie Rhys.
She published the eponymous book in 2021, to which she was the primary contributor as co-artist, curator and editor/writer. It examines the lives and artwork of father and daughter artists, and their individual relationships with New Orleans and its musical community. Paired with their art is a large selection of artifacts and historic instruments, culled mostly from the Jazz Museum's incomparable archives. Combined, they all contribute towards telling the unique story of two lives utterly immersed in art and music in New Orleans over two generations.
Noel Rockmore (1928--1995) was well-known in New Orleans for his mid-1960s oil portraits of Preservation Hall musicians, and Emilie Rhys (1956--) has earned recent public notice for her artwork of contemporary musicians all around town. Since 2017, she has given public talks about her family in art (Rockmore’s parents were also professional artists), accompanied by PowerPoint presentations filled with imagery.
Featured in art collections across the U.S.A. and Europe, Rhys opened her gallery Scene By Rhys Fine Art, now on Royal Street, in 2016.