Main Branch - Richmond Public Library, East Franklin Street, Richmond, VA, USA
a series of acrylic on canvas paintings by Helene Ruiz cr2019
Home is culture, objects, buildings you’ve lived in, friends, family, fun, games and even where your heart ached for the first time, where you fell in love and out of love for the first time, your first friend, your first fight, your first everything; where you laughed, cried, worried, and felt powerful and determined as well as where you first felt powerless and confused. It is a memory of double-dutch and that jump rope made out of anything you can find like old venetian blind cords or an old rope you found in the trash, it’s the stick and the ball, it’s hop scotch, it’s a game we called skullies where we used old soda caps to play, it’s the fire hydrant which was the urban public pool to cool off on hot summer days, it’s the people peering from their windows watching over us, it’s the sound of the mister softee ice cream truck and its tune that made your mouth water for your favorite ice cream treat and it’s a reminder of how naturally we shared our ice cream with the other kids and they shared with us if any of us didn’t have a quarter. The fire escape was where your mom put a small hibachi grill and we had a family “barbeque” and if it was a very hot day you can sit on the fire escape and get some fresh air and maybe even a cool breeze.
Home, my home, NYC is a city of diversity, a city of many different people from all around the world all packed into a small space. It is where we all become one as we lived side by side. It is where we grew up together and respected each-others differences and where one another’s differences enhanced each of us as human beings with an ability to adapt to difference and embrace those differences. Home is where we remember being brought up. Home is a huge part of what has molded us and remained in our spirit no matter where else we may have relocated. Home is where we feel a special connection to something. Home is like an old huge tree with large, long, thick and very deep roots.
These paintings are done from my imagination and my memories of growing up in New York City, my home, always my home and although I have relocated many times, it remains the place where I can truly call “home”. It is where my memories of being creative enough to participate on a daily basis with other kids in order to create a playground within a concrete and a very cluttered compact space. All this has been influential in my artistic creativity and in my imagination. It is a part of what made the artist in me. It is both my most painful and most pleasurable of memories. Whenever I visit home since gentrification, I yearn to see kids playing and people interacting like they did when I was growing up. I yearn to hear the New Yawk accent that I know so well and is so strongly imbedded in me and is just another part who I am and all this makes me realize that modern technology has replaced so much of human socializing, the imagination, the physical activities that I remember as a regular part of life. This series of works are just a juxtaposed dreamlike portrayal of the paintings I have done from my memories and my imagination of growing up in NYC. I hope it can help to show the other side of what has always been a stereotypical portrayal of a dangerous and harsh city, and although that also is a reality, the memories of this side of life in NYC are also a reality. Everything has its Yin and Yang.
Longwood Gallery @ Hostos College 450 Grnd Concourse Bronx Ny from Dec 6, 2006 thru march 2007
Slantwall Gallery @ Va Cultural Ctr for the Arts January 2007...solo exhibition
47 west 119th street
Gala Artist Reception for False Faces on Saturday, October 31st
Masquerade: False Faces, October 31- Nov. 4, 2009, an exhibition and
event organized by The Urban Individualists, an international artists
Masquerade: False Faces, is a multimedia exhibition which includes masks
and other art works by artists responding to symbolic and concrete uses of
masks related to carnival, ceremonial, spiritual, and other societal
appearances of “masking”. The exhibition will examine the mask as a
wearable work of art, as a means of hiding or changing the identity of
a person, as a protective device, literal and metaphoric meanings of
“masking” in contemporary culture.
Historically, mask-makers have shown great resourcefulness in selecting
and combining a wide array of materials. Artists in this exhibition also incorporate
familiar and unexpected materials in their works.
FEATURED ARTISTS: Paul Deo ( New Orleans native, residing in NYC), Gary Dunn (Brooklyn, NY), Wahala Temi (raised in Nigeria, resides in staten island,NY), Mia Hernandez (Queens NY), Mariam Muradian (Seattle, Wash), Gloria Holwerda-Williams (NYC), Booker T. Williams (NYC), Miron Abromovici (Israeli native, residing in N.J.), Sarah Niebank-Hoffman (Columbus Indiana), Juancarlo Suazo (Puerto Rico native, residing in NYC), Helene Ruiz (Bronx NY), Jennifer Geiss aka Darkest Artist (Merrill, Wisconsin)
Live music performances by: Tara Thierry, Booker T. Williams, Silvano Ferrin
Background CD music composed and performed by William M. Alexander
Poetry/Spoken Word: Gloria, Mia Hernandez, Tara Thierry, Wahala Temi
Please join us at Casa Frela Gallery for the opening. The public is encouraged to attend the opening event “in-mask”.
Opening reception; “masked gathering”
Masquerade Ball / Exhibit
October 31st, 2009 7-11pm $10 suggested donation at door
Live Music and Poetry / Free Refreshments & Wine
(for those of you who would like to purchase masks at the event, a limited amount will be available for sale at the door)
Casa Frela Gallery is located at 47 West 119th Street (between Lenox
Avenue and Fifth Avenue) in Manhattan, New York.
For further information about the exhibition, or about Casa Frela Gallery, please visit our website at or call the gallery at 212-722-8577.
Exhibit runs thru November 4th, 2009
THE WILLIAMSBURG MUSIC CTR 367 BEDFORD AVENUE
THE URBAN INDIVIDUALISTS
This artist collective was
born from the vision of Helene Ruiz
opening reception July 17th, 2009 7-10pm @ The Williamsburg Music
Center 367 Bedford Ave Brooklyn Ny 11211 718-384-1654 (see attachement)
Live MUSIC BY BOOKER T WILLIAMS, TARA THIERRY, SILVANO FERRIN AND THE
GERRY EASTMAN HOUSEBAND
POETRY/SPOKEN WORD BY, TARA THEIRRY, GLORIA, MIA HERNANDEZ, VALERIE KIRK
VISUAL ART BY: HELENE RUIZ, HELEN BASCOM, GLORIA HOLWERDA-WILLIAMS,
VALERIE KIRK, MARIAM MURADIAN, MIA HERNANDEZ,WAHALA TEMI
cash bar, wine, refreshments
free and open to public
JOY, PAIN, AND ALL THINGS IN BETWEEN: THE URBAN INDIVIDUALISTS DISSECT THE MANY COMPLEXITIES OF THE HEART
Art Collective to Feature Live Music, Poetry, Spoken Word, and Visual Artwork
THE URBAN INDIVIDUALISTS, a collective of local and international artists, will debut its Hard Hearts art exhibit on July 17, 2009 at 7 PM at the Williamsburg Music Center. The event is free and open to the public.
The exhibit chronicles The Urban Individualists’ diverse life narratives as translated in their colorful works. Paintings on display tackle the group’s many stories of triumph over tragedy, celebration of difference, and nuanced recollections of life’s marvelous ups and perilous downs. To complement their art, Hard Hearts will feature a collection of spoken words artists and live musical performances, including the dynamic sounds of percussionist Silvano Ferrin, Booker T. Williams on saxophone, and the soul tantalizing vocals of Tara Thierry and on strings.
The Urban Individualists is the brainchild of Helene Ruiz, a Bronx-based artist. Ruiz founded the collective. “It was my goal to assemble a group of visual and performing artists into a collective body. This group represents a multicultural network of collaborating individualists cohesively working as a unit. We have a voice that needs to be heard and a vision that needs to be seen,” Ruiz said.
Ruiz has worked feverishly to link her dream to the aspirations of others. The Urban Individualists believe that they can transform art as a collective body, separated only by their distinct styles and sounds.
For more information on the Williamsburg Music Center, contact or visit the center’s website: .
1118 LIGH STREET SUITE 202
THE INTERCULTURAL MUSEUM ART GALLERY
"THE URBAN INDIVIDUALISTS"
This artist collective was
born from the vision of Helene Ruiz, an artist who resides
and works out of her apartment in the Bronx, NY. Her vision
is to assemble a group of artists, both visual and
performing, into a collective body.
This group represents a
multicultural network of collaborating individualists
cohesively working as a unit. Ms. Ruiz has worked long hours
to link her dream to the aspirations of others.
The Urban Individualists
believe that we can make an impact in art as a collective
body, separated only by our distinct styles. We have a voice
that needs to be heard and a vision that needs to be seen.
"ECLECTIC URBANISM, SPACE, TIME AND RHYTHM"
this exhibit contemplates apparent aspects of space, time
and rhythm as well as an "eclectic" and "urban" perspective
of the connections and disconnections between space, time
Opening reception April 18, 2009 from 4:00PM - 8:00PM
1118 LIGHT STREET SUITE 202
BALTIMORE, MD 21230
(443)691-4267 (410)234-8195 (410)448-2276
Featured artists: Paul Deo, Gary Dunn, Helen Bascom,
Kraig A. Blue, Keith Duncan, Billy Fleurima, Robert Daniels,
Helene Ruiz, Mariam Muradian, Booker T. Williams, Miron
Abramovici, Gloria Holwerda-Williams,Mia
Hernandez and Damien Venditti
** a special exhibit of an art collaboration
by the 6th grade students of M.S.88 in Brooklyn, NY;
"Awareness Brings change" **
Special Music Performance by Haiti's own, Mr. Billy Fleurima
** a short video by Miguelangel "Miky" Ruiz "El Vejigante-Luchador" **
This exhibit closes May 16th, 2009 from 4:00PM - 7:00PM
NOV 11 2007 FROM 5PM-8PM OPENING RECEPTION
ADAM CLAYTON POWELL JR STATE OFFC BLDG
2ND FLOOR GALLERY
163 W 125 STREET @ 7TH AVE
NEW YORK, NY 10027
FREE ADMISSION/OPEN TO PUBLIC
PHOTO ID REQUIRED TO ENTER BLDG
OTHER VIEWING DATES....NOV 16, 2007 6-9PM & NOV 17 2007 6-9PM
CLOSING RECEPTION NOV 19, 2007 4-8PM
Solo exhibit: March 2005 The Adam Clyton Powell Jr State Office Bldg. 125th St/Adam Clayton Powell Blvd New York City
February 2005 Black History Month
NY state office bldg, NYC
August 2004 Jersey City proartists studio tour, Jersey City NJ
July2004 Howl Arts Fest Greenwich Vllg, NYC
November 3rd 2005 Louisiana Fund Raiser Boricua taller galleries 106th / Lexington ave new york new york
2-10-2006 thru 2-28-2006 Lincoln Medical ctr 149th St/Morris Ave bronx new york
3-18-2006 philadelphia pa tustin ctr art exhibit
5-20-2006 transformation series harlem nyc
6-24-2006 transformationII bronx ny
12-5-06-3-12-07 Every day is like sunday Longwood Gallery Bronx NY
1-5-2007 thru 2-3-2007 Solo exhibit Cultural Arts Ctr at Glen Allen....Glen Allen VA
10-1-10-2602007 MARY BENSEN GALLERY JERSEY CITY,NJ
Spectacular work! Have not been very active lately...so much going on and life sometimes gets in the way of productivity... I hope for a better future in our world and hope we don't suffer more losses during this very tragic time. Thank you for your comments and I apologize for not being as active as I'd like but we sometimes get in a state where we are left with no choice but to prioritize our obligations to family and loved ones as well as our own health and it can certainly interfere with our agenda. Have a great day and again thanks for the comment
Thank you so much, Hélène, for your choice of "La fête bat son plein".