Very appreciative of The Union and Liz Kellar for featuring this article. Liz actually came to my studio and we sat down to talk, imagine that, a real conversation.
Photos taken by Dee Anne Dinelli

“We worked hard to produce a grant application which expanded upon the first year of our program, Belonging,” said Eliza Tudor, executive director at Nevada County Arts Council, said. “This particular program … demands that the artist expose his or her community not only to art, but art in connection with ideas that shine a light on both our individuality and our sense of togetherness — our ‘belonging.'”

During the year-long project, Chase will act as lead artist to elicit perspectives through the use of social media, public art-making salons, a short film, and a culminating interactive public installation.

As with her earlier projects, Chase will use social media as part of the process, saying it is a good way to reach a broader community to participate in the conversation.

She stressed that I AM HERE is very much meant to be a conversation, and not necessarily one that comes up with any answers. And as part of that, she is striving to make the dialogue as broad-based and wide-ranging as possible by including a wide spectrum of participants.

“It’s a conversation we often don’t get to have anymore,” Chase said. “We usually only do with those who are like us.”

The participants include Cassie Angle, Elma Eden Baker; girls from The Friendship Club; Virginia Rose Covert from the Nisenan tribe; Isis Indriya; and Kayle Martin.

“The women and girls involved will come up with the specifics,” she said. “I want it to be their great idea, not mine. I hope the stories and the insights will touch different kinds of women in different ways”


About the Author Ruth Chase

My work documents the human spirit and the powerful insights that allow people to find a sense of belonging within their community. The public plays a vital role in the outcome of my work, taking a journey with me that can last up to two years. I produce multi-media installations that include paintings, audio, social media, slideshows, video, and social engagement. Self-aware subjects with strong belief systems fascinate me and draw me in.