Introvert by Ruth Chase

Ruth Chase
Acrylic on canvas with audio

Alumni Exhibition
San Francisco Art Institute — Diego Rivera Gallery
800 Chestnut Street, San Francisco

Curated by: Timothy Berry and Jeremy Morgan

On View: November 11 – 24, 2019
Opening Reception: Thursday, November 14, 5 – 8 PM

It is with great pleasure and enthusiasm that San Francisco Art Institute (SFAI) faculty, Timothy Berry and Jeremy Morgan present ECHOES: From There to Here.

This exhibition is reflective of SFAI’s desire to recognize the wider community of artists who have and will work both within the physicality of this unique architectural environment and with its spirit of place. The artwork included in ECHOES: From There to Here accentuates a breadth of vision and concerns, underscoring the significance of art in general and the importance of studio practice as indicative of a lifetime commitment to art and creativity. We are now witness to the artists work as gifts through action and manifestation, to the culture of society, and to the wider world. In so doing, we too are mindful of the profound importance of both creative thought and action.

It is, indeed, a thrill to have Chase’s work in the Diego Rivera Gallery. Rivera was instrumental in establishing the Mexican mural movement in Mexican art in the early 20th century, a state-sponsored movement aimed at extolling the nation’s history, culture, and post-revolutionary ideals in large scale murals for public spaces. Like Rivera, Chase creates works that engage the public. She, however, is asking us to consider the lives of women, how they are seen, and how they see themselves in their environments. Her public works activate bridge-building within communities. A recent article about her public installation I AM HERe…”I AM HERe” (is) about how women find and maintain their sense of belonging in a rural landscape. During the year-long project, Chase has worked to elicit perspectives through the use of social media, public art-making salons, a short film, and a culminating interactive public installation.
– ‘ Liz Kellar, The Union

Chase‘s work explores what it means to be a woman and the struggle to embrace her identity. “Being a woman has never felt natural to me.” Ruth creates large, intimate paintings from images women have submitted as well as selfies that her daughter has taken. Using her daughters’ selfies, she is able to capture the complexity of the mother/daughter relationship and see her self once again as the child she was, now through her eyes as the mother she is. This duality has given her insight into the role of women and how that role is changing but still vulnerable and tenuous. Her public work takes this process into the realm of the universal.

How do the women who submit their selfies experiences the world, their roles, and other women in their lives? Is there, in fact, a female experience? Moreover, if so, can we come together as a community and share its ideals, history, and culture.

Cheryl McGinnis
Curator: Flatiron Prow Art Space , New York, New York

SFAI’s Exhibitions and Public Programs are made possible by the generosity of donors and sponsors, including the Harker Fund of The San Francisco Foundation, Institute of Museums and Library Services, Grants for the Arts, National Endowment for the Arts, Creative Work Fund, Koret Foundation, Pirkle Jones Fund, Elizabeth Firestone Graham Foundation, and Fort Point Beer Company. Ongoing support is provided by the McBean Distinguished Lecture and Residency Fund, The Buck Fund, and the Visiting Artist Fund of the SFAI Endowment.

I AM HERe is an initiative of Nevada County Arts Council led by Artist Ruth Chase, generously funded in part by California Arts Council through its Artists in Communities Program.

SFAI RUTH CHASE Press Release 2019pdf