My art on 9th and O St. is an extension of my studio paintings and video work that reevaluate the roles women have resisted and submitted — highlighting the wisdom women embody beyond limited role models.
Located on 9 Th & O St. in Sacramento, CA.
An Art in Public Places project by City of Sacramento Office of Arts and Culture. Co Sponsored by CADA and the Downtown Sacramento Partnership.
Ruth Chase is a multimedia artist whose work speaks to the value of people to their community—working with themes of belonging, visibility, and what it means to be a human. Ruth is a graduate of the San Francisco Art Institute whose artistic practice is inquiry-based and engages community bridge-building. She was awarded a Certificate of Appreciation from the City of Los Angeles for Art in Action and 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, published in Professional Artist Magazine, Catapult Art Magazine, and Huffington Post, and has taught at the Crocker Art Museum. Ruth was a featured artist on the Dead Files TV program and was awarded an Artist in Residence at Nevada County Arts for Artist Activating Communities through a grant from the California Arts Council for three consecutive years. Her film BELONGING screened at the 18th Annual Nevada City Film Festival and Wild & Scenic Film Festival. Ruth received the Legendary Female Artist of Venice, exhibited in The Crocker Kingsley, the Museum of Northern California Art, and the Diego Rivera Gallery at the San Francisco Art Institute.
Center for The Arts | The Granucci Gallery 314 W. Main St., Grass Valley, CA Tuesday – Saturday 12 – 5 PM No appointment required
Ruth Chase BLUR: Unraveling the Feminine, Masculine, and Everything In-between August 3 — September 11, 202
The Granucci Gallery is excited to present BLUR: Unraveling the Feminine, Masculine, and Everything In-between, the gallery’s first solo exhibition of artist Ruth Chase’s work. On view from August 3 – September 11, 2021, this exhibition consists of portraits and figurative paintings, video, an art film, and a public engagement piece. The show is a collaboration between Ruth and more than sixty volunteer participants. There will be a public reception from 5-7 pm onFriday, August 20.
Ruth’s work is fueled by collaboration. Using video and paint, Ruth challenges traditional roles prescribed by society, exploring feminine and masculine traits that embody all genders rather than being defined by one’s outward appearance. The work presents contrasting viewpoints, encouraging the viewer to come to their own conclusions. The exhibition is a gaze into a broader experience of being human and ever-evolving.
Motherhood opened a world within Ruth, both painful and empowering, inspiring her to depict on canvas the complexity of the mother/daughter relationship. Experiencing her daughter’s adolescence awakened memories within her, causing a deep reflection on how our childhood shapes us as women and the role vulnerability plays in our development. Her studio paintings capture fragile moments taken from her daughter’s selfies. Other paintings in the show come from images sent in by men and women looking at the masculine-feminine spectrum.
Because collaboration is essential to her work, Ruth began conversing with people on Zoom to generate a sense of community and escape the isolation of 2020. Thirty conversations took place over a year; Ruth spoke with people worldwide who shared their insights on many topics beyond the initial question of what it means to be a woman. The conversations encompassed health issues unique to women, feminine empowerment, insecurities, teen pregnancy, motherhood, and balancing masculine and feminine energies. Often the conversation gravitated to gender and sexual identity, challenging cultural norms, and working around rigid stereotypes.
Ruth presents her subject matter in an accessible exhibition that is neither definitive nor a statement about feminism but rather a glance into the lives of everyday people and their thoughts and feelings about women.
Ruth paints in acrylic on canvas, blurring the lines with drips and intersecting patterns, shapes and edges. Gray is a dominant color to represent gender neutrality, allowing the viewer to bring more of themselves to the work without being drawn into commercial stereotypes of the feminine. The paintings are created by layering several thin washes of color to impart a sense of history, experience, and emotional complexity.
Her video work informs the paintings and delivers a broader perspective. The art film is a collage of moments that allow the viewer to connect with unlikely perspectives, finding a sense of belonging with someone they may see as “other.”
Mom and dad separated so we came to live with Kay, who lived on the Venice canals. We got two Afghan hounds, this one is named Youtoo and the other named Metoo. Mom and I would show the dogs in the AKC dog shows. Here, I am about 14 yrs old at the Venice pavilion in 1960 taking Youtoo for a walk. Afghans are difficult dogs to train, but I loved this dog, this was such a fun time for me. At this time Venice was an easy and fun place to live, the boardwalk was a busy and safe place to hang out at night. I had never known about Venice until we came to live here. I went to Mark Twain jr. high, then Venice high. Colleen Gidley at the time of this photo. I went on to raise my two children in a tiny bungalow on Grand Blvd, both of my kids, Terry and Monique graduated from Venice High.
Brad James was the first to be painted for The West of Lincoln Project, following my ownself-portrait. He offered to tell his story and have me paint it before anyone else had agreed to participate. Brad and I met as little kids, crossing paths at the local church and the church summer camps. I remember Brad was there when I was learning how to smoke pot behind the church in a refrigerator box someplace out of sight of the adults. Over the years, I wouldn’t see much of Brad until we worked together on this project in 2015.
1967 | Beach Ave.
I relate to the wolf because of its strength, speed, and because my brothers and I were raised like a wolf pack in Dogtown.
The most challenging thing about growing up in Venice was deciphering the truth from everybody else’s BS. At home, on the streets; it seemed like just about everybody was either lying or they were making up stuff in their heads. I would question my own reality. “Can I trust my brothers? Can I trust anyone?” I should be able to trust family, but it didn’t always seem that way. My brothers were in the Venice Hoodlums. Having those guys to look up to was insane. I thought that was the road I would go down, not realizing I had a choice. I just thought that was the way it was: You’re going to get a tattoo; you’re gonna get your name; you’re gonna be bigger than life; people are going to fear you, and kick every ass that steps in front of you and keep moving. When I heard someone say “Brad, you don’t have to get jumped in, you were born in!” I realized I didn’t ask to be in this, I was born into this. Venice was my world, but eventually, I came to realize that all I wanted to do was to be a better person. Now I help people around me, like my friends by being of service, when someone is tripping, to help walk them out of it. Recovery is a circle. You go through it, you learn from it, then you come out of it. That pretty much sums up a lot of my life: Sometimes good men do bad things, which don’t make them bad. We were all influenced by our surroundings.
Today, I live not too far from Venice. I work maintenance and operations for a Southern California School District. I will always call Venice my home.
Painted in collaboration with Brad James by Ruth Chase. This is the second of 12 portraits in the West of Lincoln Project. The painting reflects the wisdom Brad has as a result of growing up in Venice, CA. The content of the picture came from an interview taken by Ruth, along with daily phone calls and texts to Brad about how best paint his story. Brad’s biography was written by Gena Lasko.