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Painting is silent poetry, and poetry is painting that speaks. Simonides

Kay Ruane

For years I've been drawing figures inside a room with micro landscapes out the windows. I think of the drawings as dioramas, or tiny graphite worlds.
At first these drawings were formal in imagery, as well as strictly black and white. Recently, I'm paying a lot more attention to details like the kind of flower, the title of a book on the table or a painting on the wall. I want these details to relate to specific themes in each drawing, with a dose of humor and sexuality.
Often the specific theme is related to a cultural disconnect, as well as a longing to be a part of a different physical reality and the culture it embodies. At the same time, there is a fear of actually experiencing the culture, or other world, represented by what is "outside the window".
The details are sometimes overabundant and take the drawing towards excess, literally invading the figure's space. There can also be a stereotypical or childlike association to the objects and landscapes, for example, a Disney-like imagineering of a "Safari" or a "Coronation".
Even though I am the model for the figures in the drawings, I use my image as a starting place and each figure then creates her own life. I use the final figures to explore my own sense of identity and my relationships with the physical world, but the figures also develop their own unique identities and relationships.

Kay Ruane

Kay Ruane is a visual artist who lives and works in Cambridge, MA. She recently had solo exhibits at Miller Block Gallery in Boston, MA and Jenkins Johnson Gallery in San Francisco, CA. Her work has been shown in galleries and museums around the country, including DeCordova Museum in Lincoln, MA, the Carnegie Museum, in Pittsburgh, Lyons Wier Gallery in Chicago and New York, Jenkins Johnson Gallery in New York, Ohio State University, the Muscarelle Museum of Art, Williamsburg, VA, the William E. Galberg Gallery at the College of DuPage, Indiana University and the Minneapolis College of Art & Design. In 1997 she received a National Endowment for the Arts/ Arts Midwest Fellowship Award and a Minnesota State Arts Board fellowship grant. In 1999 Kay was awarded the Jerome Foundation Travel and Study Grant. In 2002 she received the Provincetown Fine Arts Work Center/Copley Society 2002 Residency Fellowship. She has also attended residencies at the VCCA, Ragdale Foundation in Lake Forest IL, and received a full fellowship to the Vermont Studio Center. Kay's work is represented in many public and private collections including the DeCordova Museum, Fidelity Investments, St. Paul Companies, Travelers Express, Cargill, Incorporated and AT&T.

University of Illinois, Campaign-Urbana, BFA, 1979

Indiana State University
School of the Art Institute of Chicago

© Kay Ruane

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