I AM HERe Group Art Exhibition

I AM HERe Collaborating Artists
Group Art Exhibition
BriarPatch Co-op Gallery
290 Sierra College Dr., Grass Valley, CA

Opening Reception: June 8, 5-7PM
Exhibition Dates: June 7 – July 2, 2019

I AM HERE is pleased to present a group exhibition from the I AM HERE Collaborating Artists. Thirteen outstanding women artists reflect on their experiences of living in a rural community as it relates to their individual sense of belonging. Artists, Lisa Barker, Ruth Chase, Sheila Cameron, Sarah Clark, Sherri DauphinaisDee Anne DinelliJuli ElinFlo Fahrenheit, Kathleen Fenton, Jenny HaleLori Lachman, Terra Nyssa, Tara RoseJennifer Rugge, and Valerie Stuart have co-created the exhibition in order to explore and encourage others to explore what it means to belong here, especially as a woman.

The exhibition includes photography, painting, fiber art, interactive public engagement, video, collage, and multimedia works. QR Codes have been incorporated as an interactive feature to view artists perspectives, which are quite diverse.

The exhibit is part of the Nevada County Arts Council’s year-long I AM HERE arts initiative, led by Artist Ruth Chase and generously funded in part by California Arts Council through its Artists in Communities Program.

The I AM HERE initiative is making use of many different platforms to look at the question of women finding and maintaining their sense of belonging in our changing rural landscape. These platforms include not only this art exhibit but also social media, public art-making salons, a performance art piece, a short film, and an interactive I AM HERE Public Art Installation in Robinson’s Plaza (this May – June).

Group photo by Lori Lachman

 

#BelongingInNevadaCounty #IAmHere

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I AM HERe Public Art Installation Opening

I AM HERe Public Art Installation
A Community Collaboration -
 Robinson Plaza
May 18 – June 16, 2019

Opening Reception: June 7, 5-7PM
During First Friday Art Walk
132 Main St., Nevada City, CA

I AM HERe is a true community collaboration. Through several gatherings under the artistic direction of Ruth Chase, a group of local women arrived at a collective vision for an interactive public art installation, “I AM HERe.”

The key participants in I AM HERE are Cassie Angle, Elma Baker, Melinda Booth, Virginia Rose Covert, Kimberlee Evans, Susan Gouveia, Isis Indriya, Kayle Martin, Erin Noel, Elisa Parker, Shelby Richardson, Jennifer Singer, and Ginny Woods (known as  AniLa in her Buddhist practice). Together they explored what it means to belong in Nevada County as a woman and developed a vision for this art installation. Significant symbolism was used to lead the design, including charring of the wood to represent renewal and care for the earth as mother, as well as weaving to represent community and integration.

Once the symbolic vision was determined, Ruth Chase, Monica Hughes, and Sally Peterson worked together to design a structure that would embrace these ideas and symbology. The “I AM HERe” installation is made of local manzanita branches and Yuba River rock, and includes audio and visual elements along with two interactive features. The structure incorporates QR codes linked to videos of the key participants, and a social engagement opportunity for all who visit. All of the videos were filmed by Will Edwards and edited by Ruth Chase.

The exhibit is part of the Nevada County Arts Council’s year-long I AM HERE arts initiative, led by Artist Ruth Chase. This initiative was generously funded in part by California Arts Council through their Artists in Communities Program.

The I AM HERE initiative uses several platforms to look at the question of women finding and maintaining their sense of belonging in our changing rural landscape. These platforms include this art installation as well as social media, public art-making salons, a performance art piece, and a short film. There will also be an I AM HERe Collaborating Artists Group art exhibition at BriarPatch Coop from June 7 – July 2.

PRESS

Group photo by Lori Lachman


#BelongingInNevadaCounty #IAmHere

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The Value of Artists

A few thoughts I had about the artist I know and love.

Creatives and artists often don’t live in the mainstream. So whatever is “trending” now they are YEARS beyond that mindset.

They’re innovators, expanding the way we see and experience the world around us.

They have an essential role in healing, teaching, giving us new ways to think and observe everything, storytelling, stabilizing the economy, revisioning history, and bridging gaps.

Artists are the fiber of transformation, they are visionaries, and a precious resource for building our communities.

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.

Growing Up in VENICE > Elaine Leslie

Elaine Leslie West of Lincoln Project Opening copy
“The Deeper We Go, The Brighter We Shine” painting with Elaine Leslie

Painted in collaboration with Elaine Love Leslie by Ruth Chase. The painting reflects her life story and the wisdom she has as a result of growing up in Venice, CA. This was the final painting in the West of Lincoln Project, completed in early 2017. Painted by Ruth Chase.

Elaine Love Leslie  4.05.04 PM.JPG
Elaine with her two beautiful daughters in 2016

Elaine Love Leslie
b. 1969 | Sunset Ave.

There is a real gift in darkness. That’s why the moon disappears and we have seasons. The dark is necessary in order for the regrowth. The seed lives in darkness before it emerges into its full potential.

I was five years old in 1974. That is when my single mother, in pursuit of freedom, moved us from Colorado to our new home on Sunset Ave in Venice. The house was nothing more than a shack, and it was already the home to a thousand cockroaches. “I’m going to paint the kitchen yellow,” she said, and I remember hearing her voice crack with both bravery and fear. As a child, one of my favorite things to do was watch my mother be brave.

Venice was my greatest spiritual teacher, for there was sacredness there, an unspoken law of survival. You will know danger and become intimate with fear. You will learn your strength, for it will be called on often in the ritual of being a child in the wild.

I found God in everything and everyone. I heard messages of love preached by crazy people conversing with angels in the form of sand.  My home was a safe haven of lost souls. We welcomed all. My childhood was filled with nights of wine and weed, and conversations about art, spirituality, politics, liberation, music, literature, and madness. These were the sacred hymns that lulled my young bones to sleep; these were the songs of my youth.

 

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Elaine and her mom in 1976, Venice, CA

Beautifully written by Elaine Love Leslie

 

I AM HERE Questions

Every Saturday morning Ruth posts a question about our sense of belonging on the I AM HERE Facebook Group page. Each response informs her work, using social engagement as a tool for artmaking and engaging the community in conversation.

 

Ruth has been exploring ideas of belonging for over three years now, having a direct impact on her life and work as an artist.

The first year of BELONGING we asked, how do you find and maintain your sense of belonging through the land that we share? This year, with I AM HERE, we’re asking, how do women find their sense of belonging in a rural county? I welcome you to participate too.

JOIN THE CONVERSATION

On February 16, the weekly question will be live and in person.

Belonging really happens best when we are with each other in person, men we need you too.

I AM HERE is the name of the second year of BELONGING. I AM HERE questions are meant to engage the community in a conversation about women and to foster a community connection.

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

FEB 16  | SAT 9 – 10:30AM
Saturday Morning Question – In Person w/ Ruth Chase
Summer Thyme in Grass Valley
INVITATION

 

Channeling My Work

One of my first portraits from back in the day.

When I started painting, I would follow a voice that would come forth from a spirit on the other side asking me to see them. I had no idea what I was doing, I would just paint, in time I understood that I could use channeling from nonphysical energy to guide my work. I remember distinctly that this spirit was eager to be seen and released. While I still use this method in some of my work, I am so much more aware of what is happening and far more particular of who I channel.

“White Face”
oil on canvas
6 x 4′
1990
by Ruth Chase
Ocampo Collection

White_Face_Oil_on_Canvas_6_x4_1990 by Ruth Chase
“White Face”, oil on canvas, 48 x 72”, 1990

 

Early Work >

 

What Does It Mean To Be A Woman

What does it mean to be a woman, a question I have never explored until this very moment.

From an early age, I noticed that being a “girl” put me in a place of vulnerability and I was very aware that physical danger was awaiting me if I wasn’t careful. So as a young adult “woman” I would make sure that my clothes and persona were tough enough to scare away predators.

Now I look back and see that it wasn’t until bearing a child, at the age of 40, that I began to connect with my womanhood. I was getting in touch with my body and its functions specific to having a child and becoming awakened to the physical characteristics that make me a WOMAN. I loved being pregnant, I loved my body and being able to hold another universe within.

I have spent a lot of time rejecting the expectations put on me by the outside world of what a woman is or should be, or should not be. I have never been sure of how I fit into the expectations of the world around me. I also, at times, did not want to own the power and blessings that come with femininity. On the inside, I felt like I hadn’t decided if I wanted to be feminine and on the outside, I knew to be a tomboy or punk sent a message to leave me alone, I’m not open for this “girl” business. Sometimes I wonder if I would have chosen to be a woman in this lifetime if I were given a choice before I was born. I suppose I have also been pissed off about being a woman, now that I think about it. So far, the most amazing thing about being a woman has been birthing my daughter, who by the way is VERY girly and VERY feminine. I’m having an ‘aha!’ moment writing this. I may even need a good cry.

Beyond the Frame – Museum of Northern California Art – Panel Discussion

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
900 ESPLANADE
CHICO, CA, 95926 (MAP)

Beyond the Frame Panel Discussion | August 26
INVITATION

Beyond the Frame Exhibition
July 19 – September 2, 2018
INVITATION

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SEE and hear more about Leonard

“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.