~~ Visibility Through Art – Invisible No More ~~
This project was inspired by the Nevada City Rancheria Nisenan Tribe’s desire to collaborate with local artists. The goal: to create conscientious art pieces that conversate around the history and culture of the Original Peoples of this land. Our deepest hope is to bring about awareness of local historic and current issues through the medium of art. A successful project will bring together community to reflect on the future, navigating a collective conversation. This is not a simple journey, artists are asked to engage in deep listening to the stories and history shared with them by the Tribal Council and Nisenan Elders. Together each artist collaborated individually on their art pieces to create respectful and reflective works. You can learn more about the artists here: www.nisenanheritageday.org/artists.html
CALIFORNIA HERITAGE: INDIGENOUS RESEARCH PROJECT (CHIRP) was created to research, document, preserve, and protect California Indigenous culture. As an important first task, CHIRP has been following the history and stories of the Foothill Nisenan people of the Nevada City Rancheria, and has played an important roll in the re-introduction of the Nisenan people to the non-native community now residing in the Nisenan homelands of the Bear and Yuba river watersheds, especially in Nevada County where the Nisenan once had a federally recognized reservation. CHIRP lead restoration efforts at the Firehouse No.1 in Nevada City, California, where some of the last remaining Nisenan Tribal artifacts are archived and available for public viewing. CHIRP continues to support the Nisenan in their quest to re-establish themselves as the Indigenous people in the foothills where their families have resided for thousands of years. More info: www.nisenan.org
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
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.
I brought my daughter along so she could see it too, I used to be a Set Decorator in LA for several years. So it was fun to show my daughter what I was talking about.
OK, so I met Amy, she’s a freaking trip, I mean whoa, she was incredibly interesting. And the real deal too. Sitting with her was like being with someone hallucinating, I think she couldn’t turn off reading spirits and energy, it felt like she was reading me, her eyes all around but never looking at me.
As far as my drawings go, I was satisfied with what I did for the time and content I had to create.
NO VACANCY OUTLINE: Retired NYPD homicide detective Steve DiSchiavi and physical medium Amy Allan investigate paranormal activity at a small-town hotel in Grass Valley, California. Their separate investigations take harrowing turns as Steve uncovers the hotel’s history of destructive fires and scandalous violence, while Amy comes face-to-face with the deranged dead during her overwhelming walk.
I invite you to visit my studio anytime. No worries, you don’t have to be an art collector to have a reason to visit.
Depending on my work schedule I will have something I’m working on that is progress, as well as older work to view. If you have questions about art, mine or in general, bring them with you, I love to talk shop.
I am located just three miles from downtown Nevada City, CA. Feel free to call me or use message form below. Ruth Chase 530-409-2330