South Bay Contemporary Sets the Course with “Dear President” and “The Faces Within”



The South Bay Contemporary’s powerful Dear President opened last Saturday, offering creative dialog on American issues, policies, and values – challenged with the new presidency. Hard topics such as homelessness, gun control, immigrant rights, big oil lobbying are addressed as well as giving voice to those feeling marginalized. With nearly 50 local and regional, the show buzzes with fervor and commitment.


South Bay Contemporary gallery director Peggy Sivert Zask and Ben Zask had an idea at the beginning of the 2016 election season to curate artists to give voice to the diverse views of Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.

IMG_6279 and 6292

Sivert Zask was inspired by “clashing disputes on American policy” that “brought out the passions of a large number of citizens who had once been politically apathetic.”

“Hillary was poised to break the glass ceiling, but represented the establishment,” according to Sivert Zask. “Outsiders Trump and Sanders appealed to the disenfranchised while attempting to turn the establishment upside down. The issues that were brought to the surface started a forceful national dialogue.”

IMG_6335 and 6277

The show’s artists voice their heartfelt concerns through their works and written letters to be compiled into a catalog sent directly to the president and other influential representatives in Washington D.C.
Cie Gumucio’s mixed media installation, Letters, clearly reveals both the frustration and grasping towards hope so many are feeling.
The piece was created using various failed letter drafts written to try and communicate with a strong male ego such as that of the new president, according to the artist. The piece includes letters using approaches of fear, hard scientific facts, and appealing to a family man, but all end up in a cascading waste basket full of pleas for “our shared existence.”
IMG_6269 and 6346

As a member of the Moms Demand Gun Control and an advocate for Gun Sense, artist Ellen November works in fabric with her piece, House of Guns. She recreates the Capitol building as a tapestry made up of hand guns and automatic weapons. Her work creates a visually striking contrast between the American tradition of quilting and collage collage – she’s evokes a modern day Betsy Ross documenting a new kind of patriotic act.

IMG_6341 and 6340

The assemblage piece by Michael Chomick, Cipher was started during the Bush administration as a statement against the Iraq war, and has since been reworked to address the concerns of what he calls “military quagmires,” and the messiness of war, and the loss of children.

IMG_6283 and 6319

Citia Alejandra Segovia, A Big Beautiful Wall is a video work that addresses issues of immigration with clarity and humor. The artist, whose work has been influenced by Mexican culture, uses photography and video to explore cultural stereotypes, identity and bilingualism. She views herself as both an outsider and insider to American culture, one who tries to “look at its machinations with a fresh eye.”

On Sunday February 19th from 3-5 p.m., an artists talk will present artists’ concerns, process, and feelings about their work and the incoming administration.

IMG_6270 and 6271

One of the planned speakers is John Kiriakou, a former CIA agent imprisoned for allegedly leaking classified information about waterboarding. His image can be seen placed on American currency in artist John Dingler’s digital media piece Whistleblower, John Kiriakou. Kiriakou will be sharing his past experience and future views.

IMG_6280 and 6291

Dear President opens up a proactive dialogue designed to create lasting changes. Seeing that diversity and solidarity can co-exist in beautiful ways is both empowering and inspiring. The show’s catalog is available for purchase and the proceeds will help to support the South Bay Contemporary and local artists.

Participating artists include:

Claudia Bear, Marconi Calindas, Kate Carvellas, Darice Chang, Michael Chomick, Annie Clavel, Preston Craig, Gina Cunningham, Rick Dallago, John Dingler, Edem Elesh, Paige Emery , Luis Favela, Kathi Flood, Scott Froschauer, Steve Fujimoto, Richelle Gribble, Elwing Gonzalez, Cie Gumucio, Benjamin Jancewicz, Julian Kehle, Janet Le, Sheri Leigh O’Conner, Eva Kolosvary-Stupler, Mona-Lisa Lind, Ann Mann Lynch, Gina M., Zachary Mendoza, Narsiso Martinez, Karena Massingil, Mary Milelzcik, Tom Miller,
Johnny Naked, Ellen November, Michelle Nunes, Toni Reinis, Michelle Rozic, Kuniko Ruch, Mati Russo, Tatiana Savchenko, Cintia Alejandra Segovia, Peggy Sivert, Micheal Swank, Curtis Taylor, Daggi Wallace, Tammy West, Bill Zeldis.

IMG_6290 and 6294

According to Sivert-Zask, “Some of the artists were invited and we also included an open call for artists to enter. After the election we decided to extend the deadline since there were so many artists had deep need to express their feelings. We ended up wanting to include as many artists as we could because of the intensity of the times. We felt everyone needed to be included if they were addressing a political issue.”

 And in the adjoining gallery…
Adjoining Dear President, is the separate exhibition The Faces Within, in which artists express their personal responses to their mental/physical/emotional state during this election past year.
Sivert-Zask notes “We invited artist and curator Karrie Ross to curate a related show in the smaller project room. Her work is a departure from specific political issues and focuses on the face of emotion resulting from the chaos of the election process.”
Ross 2
According to  Ross, “The question the artists were posed with is ‘What Does YOUR emotional FACE Look Like?’ Each Artist was assigned a left or right side of face to create. Some started their projects before November 8th and others after. The results are amazing, I hope you’ll be able to relate to, and find a connection to their feelings. There will also be some small pieces reflecting a full face and one emotion.”
Ross 1
“I was moved by each of the artists’ statements regarding their art piece and the 2016 experience that inspired it, with each enhanced by the powerful statement the pairing of images presented…simple, clean, to the point, for me The Faces Within caused a reflection on my own experiences. Each final piece was selected by degrees of angst, paired with care to best reflect the two sides of any decision,” Ross says.
Participating Southern California based artists: Nancy Larrew, Sarah Stone, Ben Zask, Steve Shriver, Scott Meskill, Anna Stump, Vicki Barkley, Raymond Logan, Randi Matushevitz, Malka Nedivi, Leonard D Greco Jr., Beanie Karmen, Lore Elkelberry, Cansu Bulgu.

Ross 3

Sivert-Zask and Ross expect these shows to release, according to Sivert-Zask, “a lot of the intense emotional feelings that we all feel, by bringing us together and allowing a safe place to feel together. I think it will release feelings but hopefully spark and inspire continued activism as well. We believe that art can continue to be an important vehicle of social and political expression.”


IMG_6275 and 6276
Dear President and The Faces Within run through February 19th.  South Bay Contemporary is located at 401 S. Mesa St., third floor, San Pedro. The gallery is open Thursday, Feb. 2 from 6-9 p.m. during the First Thursday Art Walk, Saturdays from 1 to 5, and by appointment. The show concludes with the Artists’ Talk from 3-5 p.m. on Sunday Feb. 19. To make an appointment, call (310) 429-0973 or visit
Ellen Riingen, Genie Davis; Photos: Ellen Riingen

GLAMFA: The Greater Los Angeles MFA Show 2017

Glamfa ruiz

Glamfa scultu

With an opening reception scheduled for January 29th from 6-8 p.m., the 2017 iteration of GLAMFA, the Greater Los Angeles MFA show, marks its 12th year presenting the best of graduate student art work. Organized and curated by California State University Long Beach students, the event is held at the CSULB art galleries on campus. This year’s exhibition will include twenty-eight MFA students from 12 California art schools: CSUN, UCLA, UC Santa Barbara, UC San Diego, Claremont, Cal Arts, Cal State Fullerton, Art Center, Azusa Pacific, Laguna College of Art & Design, Otis, and UC Irvine.

While the program focuses on emerging trends in contemporary artworks, the Los Angeles area is also key in these works. Thought not every piece is California-centric, LA serves as the mirror that reflects the exhibition itself. Each piece speaks to a critical moment in time for the artists and for their art.

glamfa baker

Along with the evening opening of the exhibition, from 4 to 6 p.m., viewers will have the chance to see works on display at an open studio event, and a live performance by UCSB student and former gymnast Emily Baker, above, whose enigmatic work explores both the body itself and the transience of athleticism.

In yet another event, on January 31st, GLAMFA welcomes three alumni to discuss their art practice and its evolution since graduate school. Speaking will be Zackary Drucker (GLAMFA 2007), Patricia Fernandez (GLAMFA 2010), and Katie Shapiro (GLAMFA 2015).

The participating GLAMFA 2017 artists include Chelsea Avarez, Gal Amiram, Yair Agmon, Emily Baker, Lyndsay Bloom, Cara Chan, Ashley Jan Gardner, Tanner Gilliland-Swetland, Audrey Hope, Angie Jennings, Emily Blythe Jones, Jennifer King, David Lucien Matheke, Ariel Mazariegos, Andrea Patrie, Jackie Rines, Justin Robinson, Doraelia Ruiz, Sunny Samuel, Janet Solval, Peter Sowinski, Omid Orouji, Hazel Straight, Christina Tsui, Shannon Willis, Stormy Wu, Sichong Xie, Drea Zlanabitnig.

Glamfa 2017

The work is as varied as it is beautifully wrought. Ashley Jan Gardner’s “Fredric Augustus,” is a large oil on panel work featuring an evocative full body portrait of a man in his living room. From the cast of the light to his casual attire, the piece speaks of Southern California even as it depicts a contemplative, seemingly thoughtful and amused older man.

Glamfa ruiz

The vibrantly colorful mixed media work of Doraelia Ruiz “Under-Achiever” is mounted on stretched and printed vinyl. The piece blossoms with a palette that reminds the viewer of bougainvillea, blue sky, and street art; the complex images seem almost religious in nature.

Glamfa scultu

Or take in the wonderfully humorous work of Jackie Rines with the sculpture “Wendiceratops,” a ceramic dragon with startling fuscia claws and a hairstyle reminiscent of Lisa Simpson. This is a creature born to roam California.

Glamfa Ida's Travels to the Holy land

Equally compelling and quintessentially Californian is Gal Amiram’s photo installation, “Ida’s Travels To The Holy Land,” with a pastel donkey and it’s female protagonist clad in white capris. Here the Holy Land may be based on California dreamin’.

GLAMFA in and nout

The embroidered work depicting a fragment of “IN-N-OUT BURGERS” signage by Ariel Mazariegos is another take on the California lifestyle; a fresh look at an iconic and highly recognizable eatery and a visual artifact of the region.

CSULB Open Studio Artists presenting include Rhiannon Aarons, Alice Andreini, Isabel Avila, Kelly Campanella, Stevan Dupus, Fred Eck, Joanie Ellen, Qingsheng Gao, Mimi Haddon, Shannon Leith, Katie Marshall, Patricia Martin, Narsiso C Martinez, Jesse Parrott, Justin Rightsell, Elena Roznovan, Cintia Segovia, Ashley Shumaker, Amy Williams, Patrick Williams, and Lena Wolek.

GLAMFA studio artist wolek

Viewers will see works that include Lena Wolek’s imaginative and stirring ceramic “Escape Route” luggage, and Elena Roznovan’s “Untitled” installation which includes a twinned, panoramic video depicting the raw desert, and a dirt sculpture.

GLAMFA studio artist 1

Don’t miss this exploration of exciting, bold art – that’s exciting, bold California-influenced art, at GLAMFA this month.

Opening Reception January 29th 6-8pm
CSULB Open Studios: January 29th 4-6pm
GLAMFA graduates talk: January 31st, evening presentation
On view January 23 – February 1, 2017
Monday – Friday, 12 p.m. – 5p.m., Wednesday, 12 p.m. – 7 p.m.

For more information see:

All That Glitters



A new and stunning project space is opening this Sunday January 8th with a reception from 3:30 to 6:00 p.m. at the 7th Street Produce Market. In this historic but unlikely setting, artists Zadik Zadikian, Kaloust Guedel, and KuBO present four immersive, large-scale artworks that dazzle with their conceptions of texture, light, color, and on-going evolution.


In a building constructed 100 years ago, Zadikian has established a studio project space that turns its environment into a work of art. His plan is to watch the artwork unfold and grow with new elements to be added to existing works and new artists to create their own visual compositions.

On Sunday, viewers will see four pieces: Zadikian’s “Foreigners,” his untitled gold-leaf wall, Guedel’s “The Coronation of Vagina,” and KuBO’s opalescent “Once Upon the Time in the West.”


Taken as a whole, viewers will enter a magical, surreal space, one rich in concept and visual texture, vibrant in color, and alive in its transitional, creative state. Individually, each piece is likely to burn a succinct, dazzling image into the viewers’ retinas, creating memorable visual moments that resonate with meaning. These are highly interpretive, experiential works; art that will have viewers discussing it, analyzing it, and simply reveling in its depths.

Zadikian found his project space four years ago, and began work on what he calls his “semi-permanent” installation shortly thereafter. Sunday’s reception marks his soft opening, with a larger opening planned for spring.

On the east wall overlooking the produce market, Zadikian has created a gold wall, one which glitters in the light, that moves with the delicacy of wings as air filters throughout the space.


“I used imitation gold leaf purposely, so that you become aware of time as the colors of the leaf changes,” Zadikian relates. When newly mounted, the delicate gold leaf is glittering and shiny. Where the elements reach the work, and age it, the leaf turns coppery, bronze. The most exposed areas, window frames drenched in light, coated industrial piping, are turning purple and blue.


“There are some overlaps of the leaf where the elements can’t get in and that will stay shimmering gold.  The surface, top layer will gradually turn blue black,” the artist explains. “I used to cover entire spaces in New York with gold leaf, the whole concept is to petrify by casting in gold.”


This work feels very much alive, as much a meditation on the passage of time, of life, breath, and being, as it is a stunning art work that dances with light. It reflects on our intimate, intrinsic concern with aging, how we shift, change, the shininess of youth undone by the days and years in which we live. There is a haunting, poignant feel to the work that is almost evenly met by a sense of being uplifted, gratitude for the process of living which includes aging itself.

“It becomes very much alive, it flutters, it is the awareness of material and air, very peaceful and meditative,” Zadikian says. “It is a simple application of material, each piece 5″ by 5″ square.”


The result is like alchemy writ large across a 12-foot-high and 60-foot-long brick wall.

“I started the work when I moved in three and a half years ago, and I finished it this year. What happened over time was not intentionally done. I didn’t know you would get a natural patina, that nature would take over. The overlaps, the movements are intentional, to create awareness of the material,” he says. “But the discoloration was discovered. I had always worked only with genuine gold leaf before, and that never changes. It is timeless.”


The pieces plays with light, with motion, making viewers hyper aware of its fragility, and Zadikian’s assertion that the piece is “like butterflies on the wall.” Certainly, like a butterfly, the piece undergoes a metamorphosis, a transformation, and visual zeitgeist.


Directly in the center of the large project space is Zadikian’s free standing “Foreigners.” The artist refers to the real gold leaf gilded sculptures on their rich black background as subconscious sculptures.


The cast gold works, hung on the background with magnets, are mesmerizing. Study them to find faces, lips, noses, eyes, creatures.

“The title, ‘Foreigners’ refers to ideas coming from the subconscious, images of creatures coming from space. Every day I would come in to work and never know what I would come up with,” Zadkian smiles.


“I think the real creativity is not knowing what you’re going to come up with. You go to unknown places. We are all afraid of uncontrolled forces, but when you accept that power it is amazing.”


Zadikian’s stunning work is not finished yet. “I’m coming up with another five thousand tiny pieces to add to it. It will become a galaxy with no beginning, timeless, using materials and forms created by natural forces and gravity.”


That the piece is rich enough to evoke an entire universe is unarguable, the features on the sculptural works also feel representative of the spiritual dimension to human existence; souls, perhaps strange angels.


“You see everything because of the gold, it is not used here because it is a precious metal but because through it’s experience you can see the forms immediately.”


Zadikian shapes these forms by literally dropping the clay he works with against the studio floor. “I bang it on the floor and the mass of gravity and the clay together, those two forces create the shape, the form. I move the soft clay and bang and turn it until I get shapes that stop me intuitively. When I see the shape that makes sense, I stop and add a few details like eyes, nose, lips, to reference those features.”


At that point the artist makes a mold and casts it on plaster. The mold is broken with a chisel. Referring to the processes that preserved mummies and sarcophagi in ancient Egypt, Zadikian wraps the plaster with burlap to reinforce it while it drives. Then he applies several coats of shellac to seal the works “because plaster is porous.”


When the shellac layers dry, he applies gold-size that’s oil based.  The gold leaf is then applied and sticks to the surface. “This is called oil gilding,” the artist explains.


His black backdrop is created with a mix of black color and plaster layered onto the surface. “It took three weeks just to get a certain texture and thickness, and then it is finished with six or seven layers of black shoe polish,” which creates the textural richness and vibrating depth of the blackness.

“Foreigners” is positioned directly across the project space from Guedel’s work, “The Coronation of Vagina.” Referring to his work as a fresco rather than an installation, Guedel, too works in layers. The piece covers the north entry wall, and consists of a paint and plaster bright blue background and another layer created with translucent vinyl with paint in sections. Between these, vinyl geometric shapes are hung or lie among the flowing clear vinyl sheets.  Just as Zadikian’s gold wall shifts in the wind, Guedel’s work shifts in the light, creating the illusion of water flow, sun beams, and moonlight.


Guedel is a part of the so-termed excessivism movement, one which reflects and examines every aspect of life in an excessive state. It depicts the exessive use of resources in visual creations, with a goal of examining the capitalist system. Putting these prescient but political dimensions aside, Guedel’s work was a five month process, it’s title and intent to emulate the birth of a child entering this space of artistic vision.

Working in vinyl and acrylic, Guedel says “My starting point was the architectural structure I used to compose. The imposition of the door, the electrical outlets, the faucet on the space, accepting it as it is and working with that. When I was finished with the piece, I couldn’t see the explanation for the door, so I used it as the center.”

The shiny white door – the physical entrance to the space – stands aside, a blank spot that aches with and for meaning.


“I added the yellow vinyl pieces as a crown-type element and then the title came to life,” Guedel says.


The vibrant, almost royal-blue wall was initially painted with a roller, then painted over with white and begun again. “When I started again I added more water and used a spatula to apply the color. It’s an art to create the wall, and the wall is an important part of the art. Move the art anywhere else and it would be a different piece,” he asserts.


The geometric vinyl shapes are stretched over wood in the same way that canvas would be stretched. “The pieces have horizontal and vertical shapes. Those that are on the ground are in motion, they were pulled to the ground.” The piece has a flow that connects the top of the wall, and the rich blue which climbs the ceiling space as well, all the way to the ground.  There is a huge, indomitable flow to the work which is, Guedel says, a continuation of previous works that were part of a six painting series. This work is 16 feet high by 47 feet wide. He has also experimented creating a smaller single color 12-foot piece that  incorporated fiber optics. “The soft material brings into play organic formation in contrast with the geometric forms,” he says.



Physically larger than life, the viewer experiences the piece with a sense of the architectural space in which it is shaped, and its dimensionality pulls the viewer into its layers, as if the act of seeing the work added yet another layer.


On the west facing wall is the appropriately named “Once upon a time in the West” by KuBO.  Again, texture is a strong element in this work, which uses the existing texture of the uneven wall and takes it to a new plane of visual existence.


Offering a dreamscape of sea foam, pearls, and opals, the iridescent, pearlescent space glows from within and without. Violet colored window sashes are a lush counterpoint to the shifting translucent greens.


The artist is known to capture luminescence in his work, which at times utilizes some of the attributes of large scale photographs,  through its reflective use of light and color.


The artist was not present at the studio during our visit; German-born, KuBO splits his time between LA and Hong Kong, and is involved with the international Green Movement.


Zadikian is thrilled with KuBO’s work. “I had a vision of making a pearlescent space, walls that get rid of the cheap white gallery walls that have become a cliche, that there is something cold and trashy about, that can be painted over and over. This space has very special form to me, the space itself is a found object.”

Utilizing that found object, KuBO works here with polyurethane layered between pigments, creating spaces in which the light reflects the colors back.  Depending on the angle at which a viewer stands, Zadikian notes, “you become aware of the light. It’s not an opaque, fixed color.”

There is a jewel like quality to this wall, it is not decorative material, it becomes something layered; it is a chameleon, a rainbow, flower petals, lizard skin, peacock feathers.  Specialized aqua pigments bring out the layers in the existing wall, create shadows and shapes, but this is a piece that is all about color as image.


As to the entire project space and the works of all three artists, Zadikian says “I had gilded spaces in gold, I knew how to alter space. I want this space to be about giving birth, giving space to artists to create.”

Enter this new universe at The Project Studio, located at 1318 E 7th. Street, L.A, CA 90021. At Sunday’s opening, art critic Peter Frank will speak at 4:30 p.m.

  • Genie Davis; photos by Ellen Riingen and Genie Davis, triptych image courtesy of artist

Catherine Ruane: Art to Start the New Year



One of the best ways to start a brand new year is by exploring art which resonates with life, promise, joy, and beauty. Southern California-based artist Catherine Ruane exemplifies all of these in her work, and specifically in one large scale piece currently on display at the Los Angeles Art Association’s Gallery 825 as a part of LAAA’s signature survey exhibition featuring the best in emerging art.


The stellar Open Show 2016, on display now through January 13th, includes Ruane’s simply gorgeous, inspiring  36″ by 72″ “Minaret,” which is reason alone to take in the exhibition,  juried by Jennifer Inacio of Perez Art Museum Miami.

Featured artists include:
Elizabeth Bailey, Kelly Berg, Clovis Blackwell, JT Burke, Mario Canali, Chenhung Chen, Nathaniel Clark, Jaime Coffey Bateman, Karen Duckles, Holly Elander, Birgit Faustmann, Laurie Freitag, Dwora Fried, Kaori Fukuyama, Miguel Galán, Danielle Garza, Tanner Goldbeck, Antoine Guilbaud, Yoon Chung Han, Gina Herrera, Sol Hill, Mark Indig, Paul Ivanushka, Lynda Keeler, Carol Kleinman, Kevin Michael Klipfel, Faina Kumpan, Tom Lasley, Barbara Lavery, Jung ji Lee, Stuart Marcus, Randi Matushevitz, Dan Monteavaro, Alexis Murray, Makan Negahban, Robert Nelson, Denise Neumark-Rreimer, Eric Oliver, Elizabeth Orleans, Thibault Pelletier, Lori Pond, Meghan Quinn, Margaret Raab, Catherine Ruane, Larisa Safaryan, Shilla Shakoori, Chris Shelby, Susan Swihart, Haikuhie Tataryan, Reisig and Taylor, and Terry Tripp.

We’ve written before on the stunning work of Chenhung Chen, whose life-filled sculptures vibrate with delicate, contained motion; Dwora Fried’s intricate tableaux that inspire passionate discussion; and the touching, funny miniature worlds of Tom Lasley. Each of them and so many more terrific artists are represented in this show. Do explore it.

But today, we are writing about Catherine Ruane, whose graphite and charcoal works, of which “Minaret” is one, are quite simply profound.


Above, “Minaret.” The perfect, delicate detail in this intricate black and white image of a fan palm is nothing short of astonishing. Rough fronds, the scaled surface of the palm’s trunk, the finely caught shadows – this is an image of life itself, contained is a literal and lovely evocation of a palm tree.

Viewers who study this work will find, as with so many of the artist’s pieces, something that goes beyond the literal, that morphs a perfect tribute to nature into something ethereal and transcendent.

“The ubiquitous palm tree is both a part of Southern California which is my home, but also a plant that is a survivor despite long hot summers. The tree was once used as a tall tower to call people to prayer before a temple with a minaret could be built. I am fascinated by how this tree has been used as a way to bring people to a place of spiritual calm. I experience an internal peace while carefully rendering all the complicated mix of details in the bark and leaves. Within the chaos there a structure of order. Opposites thrive,” Ruane says.


Above, “Transgression.”

Ruane’s work is pristine, but it’s almost photographic nature is just one part of what pulls the viewer into her world. She doesn’t just chronicle, she creates a transporting experience, pulling viewers into what feels like a sacred space, fecund with life.


Above, “Gila River II.”

Below,  “Cloister.”


Her water series ripples with light, the life of the water is vivid motion and shadow; her cacti are so sharply drawn you can feel the spines.


Above, “Unravelled.”

About her palm series, the artist says “The palm tree is the iconic tree growing throughout much of Southern California, Arizona, and Mexico.  The Washingtonia Filifera or California Fan Palm…defines my personal experience of ‘home.'”


Above, “Invocation.”

There is a sense of awe and wonder in each piece, a complexity that is as nuanced as it is sweeping. Above all, Ruane takes a realistic approach that is exceptionally vivid and at the same time that approach is entirely poetic. It is a true experience of beauty to look at her works, and to study their detail is to fall in love with them and the desert life they represent.


Above, “Chaparel,” yucca.

Here’s the thing: the natural beauty she depicts, whether it is her palms, water, or other desert plants, is truly wonderful. But she inhabits each aspect of this flora so viscerally and so completely that her work involves the viewer in the intrinsic life force of that particular piece of nature. One can feel it breathe, feel compassion and empathy for a growing thing, an eddy in a river, a sheaf of cactus blossoms. Feel admiration for the resilience of a desert plant, feel the danger of its spines, feel the magnificence of wind, water, branch — she creates a vibrant personality in each work. These are living beings that she shapes.

16x20 Canvas Board
Above, “Only the Wind.”

The artist also shares with the viewer a sense of discovery, both of the exceptional wonder of the natural images she depicts and of our ability to view them. Ruane says she hikes and explores the area around her home constantly, observing visual images that help her develop a work.

Feel the artist’s intimate observation in her “Constantine,” below, barbed wire pinning back desert blossoms.


Explore the glowing detail in this section of Ruane’s water series, below, focusing on the environmental improvements on the Gila River.


Do not miss a chance to view the lush, personal, thoroughly alive nature in Catherine Ruane’s work. It’s a beautiful way to start the New Year.

Catch Ruane’s “Minaret” in the exciting group show now at LAAA, located at 825 N. La Cienega in West Hollywood.

  • Genie Davis; Photos: Courtesy of artist