A Tribute to my Mentors

What made you the person you are? Heredity? Environment? Education? Choice?

I considered this question when planning my first show at Waterstone. How do I want my work to be seen? What descriptions would characterize it? Have the evolutions in my work moved me forward?

I’d argue that all of the above factors influenced my becoming the artist I am today. It’s been a couple of years of loss for me: teachers, mentors, friends, my mother… These losses affected me, made me want to make paintings to commemorate important figures in my creative life. I also wanted to pay tribute to some of the people who’ve impacted me artistically.

Creating an Invitational

How would I limit the scope of this show? I decided to host a invitational show, inviting key artists I’ve studied with to participate. The list of those who influenced me might look radically different than my current work. But each person jumped to mind when I thought of who helped shape me as an artist.

For my initial show at Waterstone Gallery, I pay Tribute with nine abstract paintings based on artists whose teaching have influenced my work. In addition, these artists have each agreed to exhibit alongside me.

A Couple of Tribute Teasers

For example: ceramic artist Sara Swink led a creativity workshop that was influential in helping me rely more on intuition in my work. Here’s her piece for the show:

“Life Force Pig” ©Sara Swink, Ceramic, 14″x13″x6″

And here’s my abstracted ‘portrait’ of Sara:

“River of Dreams” ©Ruth Armitage, Oil & Wax on Panel, 24″x24″

The resulting show promises to raise questions, inspiration and metaphors for the care and feeding of a developing artist. My cold wax and oil paintings focus on color and mark-making. Titles allude to personality traits of each mentor.  This is an unusual peeling back of the curtain on the artistic process that is deeply rewarding to see.

Participating guest artists include: Skip Lawrence, Katherine Chang-Liu, Carla O’Connor, Donna Zagotta, Sara Swink, Randall David Tipton, Judy Morris, Linda Rothchild-Ollis and James Kirk.

Stay tuned for a few more teasers before the show. And mark your calendars for dates to come see the show; though you don’t have to come when I’m there, I’d love to see you.

Plan Your Visit

June 1 – “Tribute” opens – Ruth at the gallery from 11 – 5;30
June 2 – First Thursday opening reception, 5 – 8:30 pm
June 3 – Ruth at the gallery from 11 – 5:30
June 18 – Ruth at the gallery from 11 – 5:30
June 19 – Artist Talk, 11:00 am
July 3 – Show closes

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