Sunday, October 31, 2010

Ginny Ruffner

Seattle will soon have a new public sculpture by Ginny Ruffner outside of the Sheraton Hotel in downtown.  The Seattle Times profiles the artist's recent accomplishments.

                      Gayle Clemans October 2010:

"...Ruffner is clearly on a high right now. A big public sculpture for the corner of Seventh Avenue and Union Street in downtown Seattle is in the final stages of production. An award-winning documentary, "Ginny Ruffner: A Not So Still Life," is currently being screened at film festivals and arts venues. And a big exhibition of recent work has just opened at the Bellevue Arts Museum...Although friends and supporters say the attention she is receiving is well-deserved, Ruffner is not sure why the sudden flurry.

...The technical complexity of her work is obvious in the exhibition at BAM, where five new works of art have been added to the exhibition originally organized by the Museum of Northwest Art in La Conner. There's also a huge sculpture newly installed in BAM's lobby, a graceful aluminum double helix that extends from the ceiling of the grand lobby all the way down to the floor, where it meets a bed of glass flowers.
A self-described "closet geek" who reads science journals for pleasure, Ruffner has been inspired for the last four years by "the recent extraordinary bloom in genetic engineering, particularly plant and animal engineering. That's extremely evocative in terms of what other things could happen, with inter-kingdom, interspecies implications. Does that mean we could share genes with birds?"

The sculptures she has created in this series are hybrids of glass and metal, two and three-dimensions, animal and plant forms, visual and musical references. She considers them "thought experiments," but they are rooted in visual, formal techniques.

...While delighting in the events unfolding at BAM, Ruffner is also overseeing the final production of her public sculpture, "Urban Garden," to be unveiled in early 2011. The Sheraton hotel, sponsor of the project, wanted a water feature. Ruffner wanted to give downtown a garden. The result? A large steel flowerpot with giant flowers that will open and close after being watered by a giant watering can."

Clemans, G. "Ginny Ruffner's art blooms at Bellevue Arts Museum and on film."  The Seattle Times.  October 22, 2010. Accessed October 31, 2010.

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