In the Gallery
The imaginative oil paintings of Cristina Ruggiero will reside in the Mary Bishop Memorial Art Gallery, along with the Glassroots treasures of Kathleen Kitch, from Friday, July 30 until Monday, August 30, 2010.
Cristina Ruggiero's Themes on Canvas Artist Statement tells us that "Painting is the truest, deepest feeling of self expression she has ever experienced. As she paints, she feels energized; thoughts and ideas flow naturally, unrestricted and unencumbered. She is in a place more deeply connected to her inner self. She best describes her work as a collection of experiences and qualities uniquely her own. Memories become woven into the fabric of her being, both cultural and personal and symbolically represent the many facets of her life and the complexity of her thoughts". Her favorite medium is oil on canvas. She finds the entire painting process fascinating from beginning to end. From deciding her canvass dimensions, to stretching the canvas, to the best type of brushes and colors to use for the particular painting she is about to begin. The technique she most often uses is applying thick layers of paint over thin washes of color, some of which she leaves exposed or later brings back to the surface in various patterns creating a juxtaposition of different textures. The patterns which emerge are almost always organic, free, flowing, interconnected vine-like shapes, woven through the many layers of color and texture. The colors she chooses are bold, rich and oftentimes acidic, which she likes as she finds they help provide a more dynamic flow of contrasting energies to the images. It is this movement, this lifelike energy in the painting which she finds most challenging to attain, most satisfying and visually appealing once completed. Cristina is a graduate of Ball State University where she majored in Fine Arts and earned a BFA degree in painting in 1990. She was born in Buenos Aires, Argentina and came to the U.S. as a child along with her parents and siblings. This blending of cultures and experiences is what she believes significantly broadened the window from which she observes life, bringing a different perspective and dynamic dimension to her artistic expression.