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.
I am so out of my mind excited to say that I will have the most challenging paintings I have ever made exhibiting in the Museum of Northern California Art. I am so proud to be representing VENICE in this exhibition about the value of street art to our communities.
MUSEUM OF NORTHERN CALIFORNIA ART
CHICO, CA, 95926 (MAP)
Beyond the Frame Panel Discussion | August 26 INVITATION
Beyond the Frame Exhibition
July 19 – September 2, 2018 INVITATION
“Never Forget Where You Come From, Always Remember Where You’re Going” by Ruth Chase will be exhibiting this month at part of Beyond the Frame. Street art often has a reputation as part of a subculture that rebels against authority, although it can also express a political practice, and serves as just one tool in an array of resistance techniques.
Like some forms of street art, murals are often collaborative and collective art pieces, functioning to empower social bonding, an assertion of a community’s presence in a certain space, and articulate a community’s stance on local and global topics such as historical events and civil rights. Some murals have also been created in defiance to the law (like street art), as others have been commissioned by businesses or other patrons. It can be argued that public art of both categories can add aesthetic improvement to the daily lives of residents, and visitors to the community.
By virtue of being visually provocative or beautiful, public artworks may be easier magnets for community support and thereby effective political tools. For the communities it exists in, public art also provides access to beauty, creative work, and cultural pride.
A pop up installation where Ruth gave hugs, postcards, and took photos.
This backdrop was painted by Ruth and photos were taken to share the value individuals have in our communities. The public was encouraged to hang their photo at home where it can be seen as a reminder of their importance.
Please email Ruth your I BELONG HERE images from wherever you are RuthChaseFineArt@ymail.com
Inspired by Ruth Chase’s ambitious multi-media installation about the land we live on and the notion of belonging, Racial Literacy, Nevada County offers a free, facilitated community conversation in the World Café style at Summer Thyme’s where the BELONGING Community Exhibition, curated by Ruth is on display.
We are collaborating with Chase to expand her artistic intention by creating the opportunity for local residents to experience, as she states, “powerful insights that allow people to find a sense of belonging within their community.”We also welcome Nevada City Rancheria Secretary Shelly Covert.
Join us to talk with each other in a real and candid way about our own sense of belonging along with our relationships with the Nisenan people and this beautiful region that the Nisenan have called “home” for thousands of years.
This community conversation is free and open to the public. Space is limited. The kitchen closes at 4:00pm. Arrive early to place food and drink orders and reserve your seat.
Racial Literacy explores race, privilege, and oppression by hosting community conversations and storytelling gatherings. We believe in the power of education, open dialogue, and deep listening as tools to heal and release the shame and discomfort experienced around discussions of race. From this place of honesty, we can be better activated as a community to show up for racial justice in our daily lives, as well as on larger systemic levels. For more information, find Racial Literacy on Facebook.
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
BELONGING Year 2 – I AM HERE LAUNCHES
“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 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”
OMG, We Got The Grant. Super grateful for Eliza Tudor, Nevada County Arts Council and California Arts Council for making this happen. BELONGING will have a year two. More to come soon.
This year, the California Arts Council offered opportunities for funding in 14 unique grant program areas, fostering safe and healthy communities, arts learning, and equitable access to the arts.
“To show support for these organizations—the ones who inspire and make those crucial connections to creativity and culture within our communities-it’s a confirmation of our faith in and gratitude for that vision,” said Nashormeh Lindo, California Arts Council Chair. “This is without a doubt the most fulfilling aspect of our work as Council Members each year, to recognize those doing real, organic work to make a difference for the people of California.”
This is the description of the grant that I will be working with as Artist in Residence with Nevada County Arts Council. Our project is called BELONGING Year Two – I AM HERE.
Artists in Communities: Artists in Communities (formerly Artists Activating Communities) supports sustained artistic residencies in community settings, demonstrating that artists are integral to healthy communities and that the arts are a societal cornerstone that brings people together, builds community, and fosters social progress. It centralizes artists and their artistic processes as vehicles for community vitality. Projects are artist-driven, and engage community members as active participants.
SHE Persisted an event by YubaLit | Featuring Author Bridget Quinn
This is an essay I read at SHE Persisted about how I overcame a time in my life when I was the most discouraged and wanted to give up being an artist. It starts and ends with a self portrait I painted that changed my life and was the first step I took to create my own “rags to riches” journey. Well, not so much not riches in the form of money.
Spring 2015: I’m on the back end of my 40s and this time I’m going to really give up. Pursuing an art career feels hopeless, and the uphill battle I’m fighting right now is more than I can handle. It’s 4:00 am Monday morning—hot coffee, cell phone, Facebook app and the dog. Every week my husband will be gone from Monday til Thursday or Friday. I’ve committed to homeschooling our only child; I feel lost, I feel alone. Every bit of my spiritual energy is being given to our beautiful daughter who will turn 10 in May. I had no idea that motherhood would take this long or be this hard, that I would feel so disconnected from my dreams and my art. I’ll be 50 before yah know it; I don’t have the time or energy to pick up a paintbrush. “Who am I kidding? Get a real job! I’ll never be a working artist.” I’ve been through this before, but this time it’s different.
When I was six, my home was on the Venice boardwalk, and within me was a well of strength I would not realize I had until I was older, much older. To be totally honest, I was at my very strongest then. I wanted to be the first woman president when I grew up. At that age, dreaming big was easy. The fact that my tutu matched my bodysuit was enough affirmation for me to believe that I could do or be anything. I remember that dance outfit like it was yesterday; I remember the empowering feelings that went with it, too. It seems like it was the only time in my life where my dreams belonged to me and I was in them wholeheartedly, against all odds.
Summer: There are signs that the demands of motherhood are changing. I’ll try to paint a self-portrait of that little girl. The one who dreamed big dreams.
In the late 80’s, I was a student at the San Francisco Art Institute. I wanted to be an artist with a gallery and be in a museum; I wanted to fill my life with conceptual artist friends and travel the world, eating exotic foods and drinking too much wine. Every idea I had about being an artist came from school, a book, or someone else’s life already lived. As the years go by, I no longer fit into that dream; in fact, I don’t have time to dream.
Fall, I am almost done with the self-portrait. It makes me cry for months, will it ever stop crying? I go with it. I paint, and paint for hours over weeks and into months, one painting turns into 13, turns into a whole installation with audio and video.
It’s August again, I’m 52, I’m having my first solo exhibition today, the LA Weekly will be there. I try to stay present as 400 people attend. That’s a lot of hands to shake, my feet are hurting me in the killer shoes that tell the world “I still got it.” The following morning I will wake up to some 500 texts with my name tagged all over Facebook and Instagram, they will keep coming for the rest of the day and throughout the following weeks. The City of LA will mail me a Certificate of Appreciation for that one self portrait that turned into the West of Lincoln Project. I never saw any of this coming.
Today I embark on a project called I AM HERE, about how women maintain their sense of belonging. It’s no coincidence that I am working with the theme of BELONGING, because that has been the theme of my life. Perhaps the theme of life?
Three years ago, I had no body of work and 30 years of a whole lota nothing on my resume. Two years ago, I embarked on a dream bigger than I could have imagined—a dream where I belonged to my art.
Here’s my self portrait, “Stronger Than You Realize.” I realize now that I AM stronger than I ever thought. I did not find it in a book or a movie; I found it by letting go of an old story, one that was never meant for me, and moving forward, one tiny brave step at a time, toward my dreams. The dreams that were meant for me.
Bridget Quinn is an Art Historian that delves into the lives and careers of 15 brilliant female artists in her book Broad Strokes. Learn more. These images were taken at SHE Persisted on May 31st at the Stone House for YubaLit.
On May 2, Nevada County Arts Council will present the work of Ruth Chase in an artist-led community exhibition. This exhibition is the culmination of a year’s work—traveling, interviewing, painting, organizing, documenting. Alongside Ruth’s large-scale acrylic paintings will be a meaningful collaboration of work from the community: paintings, drawings, sculpture, letters, poetry, photography and video. A short film by Ruth Chase and Radu Sava will emerge as the centerpiece of this year-long inquiry of what it means to belong to the land in Nevada County. The exhibition runs through July 30th.
BELONGING is about our vulnerable mountain home. Ruth worked with the people who tend it, love it and depend on it, mobilizing perspectives to create a deeper sense of connection between the members of our community and the land we all share. Belonging is an initiative of Nevada County Art Council led by Artist Ruth Chase, generously funded in part by California Arts Council through its Artists Activating Communities Program.
Through social media, Ruth posted a weekly Saturday morning question that engaged the community in finding a sense of belonging here in Nevada County. The interactions and responses of this group informed the project’s outcome. In addition, ten featured participants were interviewed by Ruth about their direct relationship with the land in Nevada County. In the short film by Ruth and Radu, each person reflects on their connection to the land and how it relates to their sense of belonging. Lori Lachman followed the project, taking photographs of the people and of the places that Ruth and Radu traveled throughout the year of the Belonging project. These photographs will be on display during the exhibition.
Ruth Chase lives and works in Nevada County. In 2017, Ruth completed the West of Lincoln Project that was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Los Angeles for Art in Action. She was also awarded a grant to an individual artist from the Carl Jacobs Foundation. She was granted a residency at the Millay Colony for the Arts in NY, was published in Professional Artist Magazine, Catapult Art Magazine and Huffington Post, and has taught at the Crocker Art Museum, and she was a featured sketch artist on the Dead Files television program. Most recently she was awarded an Artist-in-Residence at Nevada County Arts for Artist Activating Communities through a grant from the California Arts Council for the BELONGING project. Ruth is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute.
May 2 – July 30
231 Colfax Ave, Grass Valley, CA
Lori Lachman, Masha Lewis, Bill Jacobson, Ashely Foreman, Jude Bischoff, Sherri Dauphinais, Peggy Wright, Ron Kenedi, Amy Mills, Robert Finn, Al Martinez, Anna Snelgrove, Jennifer Rugge, Lisa Barker, Erin Sorani, Linda Leith, Dodie Johnston, Sarah Clark, Pamela J Bradford, Boni Woodland, and Ruth Chase
On March 7th I headed to Mi Pueblo in Nevada City to meet Brian Buckley for dinner. Brian is very involved in the community, having been a principal at several schools and on the Board of Directors for many organizations, to name a few, The Friendship Club and Nevada County Arts Council where he served as Executive Director as well. We met to talk about Sages Among Us on KVMR, then head to the studio for a live interview. on the weekly show. Typically I’m terrified of public speaking, so while the opportunity was great, I wasn’t all that excited. At the beginning of the interview I kept saying UM, UM, I was so nervous, but in the end I was able to open up and talk about a few things that I don’t usually speak about publicly. Here is the podcast if you care to listen to it.