BLUR

BLUR: Unraveling the Feminine, Masculine, and Everything In-between

curated Ruth Chase and Brynn Farwell

Exhibition Dates
August 6 – September 11, 2021

Gallery Hours
Tuesday – Saturday, 12 – 4 PM

Art Opening
Friday, August 20, 5 – 7 PM

Artist Talk
Thursday, September 9, 5 – 7 PM

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.

Ruth Chase, BLUR: Unraveling the Feminine, Masculine, and Everything In-between
Unraveling, acrylic on canvas, 40 x 60″, 2020
I Am Many Things At Once, acrylic on canvas, 54 x 50″, 2021
With, Without, acrylic on canvas, 48 x 48″, 2020
A collaboration with Luciano Mota

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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 6 — September 11, 2021

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 6 – 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 on Friday, 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.”

Participants include Michelle Amador, Eileen Bryant Archibald, Karla Kaizoji Austin, Be Boggs, Adrienne Boudreaux, Catharine Bramkamp, Adrian Card, Mira Clark, Brooke Condon, Colleen Graham, Brynn Farwell, Elma Jella’, Beatriz E. Ledesma, Gabi Markham, Chandra Merod, Luciano Mota, Nona, Michelle Litton Ogaidi, Rey Otis, Cassie Robertson, Steve Roddy, Aqueila M. Lewis-Ross, Shōkai Sinclair, Kim Stewart, Dana Divird Stevens, Valerie Hiestand Stuart, Andie Thrams, Tia Tuenge, Casey Louis Travis, Melody Be Watson, Nicole Weaver, Jen Rhi Winders, and Carolyn Crist Wright.

Contact Ruth
RuthChaseFineArt@gmail.com
530-409-2330

Saturday Morning Question

Now in Year Three, Belonging manifests as HOME, and elicits perspectives on cultural identity from our less represented populations. Ideas of “home” are being explored through the lens of art salons, our gold country history, our recovering native population, and our recent immigrants. Critical bridge building tools are emerging through creative practices, as we meet. Saturday Morning Question ran from 2017 – 2020.

HOME – OF/BY/FORALL and #Miami

Last week Eliza Tudor of Nevada County Arts Council, Tracy Pepper of Color Me Human, Donn K. Harris of California Arts Council, and I were in #Miami for four days joining the #changenetwork of OF/BY/FORALL.

Miami of by for all ruth chase
Ruth, Tracy, Donn

I AM HERe Installation

Women in a Rural County

Women are an essential part of any community, yet their sense of belonging is often tied into gender roles, not always satisfying their sense of belonging. Mother, sister, partner, we all have women in our lives. I AM HERe is intended to mirror the voices of how men and women view women’s unique sense of belonging against the backdrop of our rural community. Lead artist Ruth Chase has sought to examine her own sense of belonging over the course of a year by asking questions through social media and taking her personal journey alongside the community. Now, the public is invited to share their own stories about themselves or the women in their lives by participating in the public art installation.

Documentary ‘Belonging’ featured at Wild & Scenic Film Festival

Laura Peterson                                                
Special to The Union
January 15, 2019

Ruth Chase by Lori Lachman 2018

In her film, “Belonging” local artist and director, Ruth Chase documents the stories of people living in Nevada County, including Shelly Covert, spokesperson for the Nevada City Rancheria, Nisenan Tribe.

The film is an initiative of Nevada County Art Council and funded in part by California Arts Council through its Artists in Communities Program. Chase and Covert are scheduled to show the film during this week’s 17th Annual Wild & Scenic Film Festival comes to Nevada City and Grass Valley.

The pair are scheduled to participate in activities such as opening reception, art shows, fireside chats, coffee talks, workshops and film panels throughout the five-day environmental and adventure film festival that attracts filmmakers, change-makers, and activists from around the globe.

The two sat down and answered a few questions. Chase had this to say:

What inspired you to make the film, “Belonging?”

“Belonging” is about how people find a sense of belonging through the land, the earth, and the environment. I was initially interested in examining the unique connection people have with the land they were born on and if that connection changes when residing in a place other than their birthplace.

 

Racial Literacy | BELONGING to the Land

RACIAL LITERACY CAFE ON BELONGING TO THE LAND
Sunday, July 29, 3-5p
 

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.

On Friendship and BELONGING

The BELONGING project is a journey I’m taking with the community of Nevada County. Every week I ask a question on Facebook that explores how we find a sense of belonging. Here is the question I asked most recently.

How do the friendships you had growing up shape your sense of belonging now?

Growing up I felt an incredible pain from feeling like I didn’t belong in my own home while I dreamed of belonging where I wasn’t wanted, with my dad. My dad and I shared the same looks and big personality, I felt comfortable with him because we were alike. As a child my friendships often reflected these same family dynamics, feeling like an outcast in friendships that I perceived I didn’t belong in because I wasn’t enough. Further making me feel incredibly insecure about if I would ever belonging with anyone, anywhere. I think that is why I cried so much on my wedding day, someone wanted me to “belong” with them. To this day I rarely feel like I fit in with most people so I cherish the relationships where I do feel a sense of belonging. After many years of rejection from the art world, I have come to realize that none of it is personal and that I belong to myself first and foremost.

So, how do the friendships you had growing up shape your sense of belonging now? 

I BELONG HERE Pop Up

IMG_7810

2017 ongoing

A pop-up installation where Ruth asks people if they want a hug and if she can take an instant photo of passers-byes, then encouraging them to hang the photo where it could be seen as a reminder of their importance and value to their community. The backdrop is a pop up photo booth intended to be a personal encounter with another human,  changing the roll of the selfie from an isolated “look at me” photo to a visceral experience that involved contact and purpose.