Why this project and what my connection to Venice is.
My name is Ruth Chase, I am the third generation of my family to live in Venice, California. Growing up there gave me a childhood filled with limitless freedom beyond what most people ever experience.
It made me tough, it made me resilient, it made me hate the place at times.
In 2015 I started digging deep into my own life through a self-portrait titled, “Stronger Than You Realize”.
I began to understand how Venice made me who I am, why I was using drugs, and felt hopeless about my future as a child.
From an early age it seemed like if I could just get an education, it would be my ticket to having a better future. Unlike my parents, who didn’t finish school, my mom couldn’t drive, read, or write, we grew up on welfare, and it sucked.
At the age of 19 I saw art as my only way out of limiting circumstances and began to paint. To get to the point, here I am, a grown woman who knows first hand that wisdom is found where people fall the hardest and get back up. I have come to a point in my life where I need to use my skills to do something that connects me to the world outside of myself and sends a positive message. I didn’t set out to do a big project. Nope, this project choose me. And everything about it makes sense to who I am as a human being.
I choose to portray the people of Venice through the West of Lincoln Project because the culture here is rich with knowledge, the people are authentic, and there is no place on earth that I know more about.
It is my personal hope that this series creates a conversation in a community rapidly undergoing big changes. An exchange that asks, “Who are my neighbors? Why are people valuable to each other, and how do people from diverse backgrounds make connections in a constantly changing environment?”
Ruth Chase | RuthChaseFineArt@ymail.com | 530-409-2330