Friday, February 27, 2015

Chicago Urban Art Retreat Center: "Women of Many Colors"

Antonia Ruppert at Chicago Urban Art Retreat  Center on 2/2015. Joined by (L-R) Ponmalar Velayutham, Dianna Long(artist and curator), Karla Ramirez Rosas and Addie McCall - Photo by Andres Gomez 
The Chicago Urban Art Retreat Center show "Women of Many Colors" group exhibit opening earlier this month was unlike any reception I've experienced lately.  Here is a picture of some of the artists who participated.  

It was like this extended conversation with other artists', family, friends and strangers that I did not want to walk away from. At one point guests were asked to share about a social justice issue on their minds. The discussion was real and transparent.  Here are a few more pictures below.

Artist and scientist, Karla Ramirez Rosas flew to the show from Mexico City to be with us.  Chicago artist, James Allen, is also shown below talking about his passion for the community.

Mexico City artist, Karla Ramirez Rosas talks about her work.
Photo by Antonia Ruppert.

Chicago artist, James Allen speaks passionately about his love for the community.
Photo by Antonia Ruppert.

The show is up until March 21st, 2015. The information is:

Chicago Urban Art Retreat Center (Liz Long Gallery) 
1957 S. Spaulding Ave. Chicago, Il. 60623
Hours vary -  so call ahead: 773-542-9126

Thanks so much to Dianna Long for curating the show, to my family and friends who came to support us, Andres Gomez for his picture of the artists and to all the Chicago Urban Art Retreat Center volunteers who helped staff the door, pass out materials and bake cookies for us.

Thank You!

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Faces of Strength: Inner Fortitude

"Holding the Treasure" © Antonia Ruppert
12 x 12-  Mixed Media on Panel
Prints are available on:
What is your story of inner fortitude?  I want to hear it. This week I met Lulu who had an amazing story of strength.  She taught me a new word - “fortaleza”  - the Spanish word for fortitude which means having courage in pain or adversity.  

Lulu spoke of the time when her husband died a number of years ago.  He was extremely kind and her angel she said.  During this period of raising her children, she learned fortitude through God’s strength.  “If he did not help, I don’t know how…”  Her voice trailed off, but I knew exactly what she meant.

Do you understand this as well?

Today, Lulu is full of spirit and light.  She says her main focus is God, family, grandchildren and her kids in that order. (Sorry kids.) She believes making a life for others - thinking about others is the best way for her.  I will be creating a painting about Lulu’s story next.  I’ll post it here when it is completed. 

Pictured today is “Holding the Treasure,” another rendition of Jenny, who I previously interviewed and painted.  From her love of making chicken soup to 365 days a year of love, this mixed media acrylic painting shares her story.

Does this painting resonate with your story? Have you experienced “fortaleza” that inner fortitude I spoke of at the beginning of this post?  I’d love to hear from you in the comment section below.  Thank you!

In fact, if you are local to Chicago, I’d love to hear your story in person at my next group show which opens this Saturday.

Valentines Day Opening

“Women of Many Colors” Group Art show curated by Dianna Long.  

Chicago Urban Art Retreat Center (Liz Long Gallery) - 773-542-9126
1957 S. Spaulding Ave. Chicago, Il. 60623

Saturday, Feb. 14, 2015 (1-4pm) Art show opening reception
Saturday, March 21, 2015 - Last day of show. It closes at 4p.m.

Whether I see you in person or simply connect in this space, Thank You for being here!


Monday, February 2, 2015

Faces of Strength: Awaken to Joy

"Awaken to Joy" © Antonia Ruppert
12 x 12-  Mixed Media on Panel
Prints are available on:
Waking up to joy. I know it’s hard to feel joyful when it’s storming outside (as it was yesterday here in Chicago).  Waking up at 2am when it’s your turn for “doody" duty is usually not a joyful moment either.  If you feel 100% joyful, read no further because that is what I’m talking about today.

I was a guest at a friends Naidy’s baby shower.  My friends and I found a way to bring a smile by writing encouraging and funny notes on the diapers:
  • I Poop Butterflies
  • I’ll Thank You Later
  • I’m God’s Little Reward
  • Don’t Forget to Love Me

I had to laugh imagining my friend changing diapers in the middle of the night with these messages on them.  Awakening to joy is all in how you frame it. 

Last week, for my Faces of Strength project, I interviewed and started painting “Jenny.”   She experiences the highs and lows of motherhood and yet finds simple joy in receiving love from her kids. When they look at her with love - she gets a huge thrill.   

I painted this piece "Awaken to Joy" based on what Jenny said.

"Awaken to Joy" © Antonia Ruppert
Progress 1: Paint and smooth on primed panel

"Awaken to Joy" © Antonia Ruppert
Progress 2: Add lists and collage/Mod Podge it
"Awaken to Joy" © Antonia Ruppert
Progress 3: Add tissue paper with words and acrylic medium
"Awaken to Joy" © Antonia Ruppert
Progress 4: After drying: Add glaze of color and drawing
It was an exhilarating experience for me as I added lists and collaged pieces to the panel thinking of how I could express this idea of joy.

The other day, before my youngest fell asleep in the car, she said, “I love you Mom.”  So of course I’m tearing up driving down the expressway.  Like Jenny, it was simple, but it filled me with joy.  I wrote the memory in my journal so I would not forget it.

Are you awaking to joy?  Whether you’re in a snow storm or another storm of sorts, it’s all in how you frame it.  You might be on diaper "doody" or in another season of life.  Remember its all in how you frame it.