Skyshapes | Ruth Koelewyn

Ruth Koelewyn
Ruth demonstrates the activation of her work.
Ruth demonstrates the activation of her work.
Guest creating their own #skyshapes
Guest creating their own #skyshapes

Exhibition & Reception

Skyshapes by Ruth Koelewyn will be on exhibit from
September 5 - October 29, 2019. Reception: Fri. Sept. 13, 6-8 PM with a Members's only Artist Talk at 5:30 PM.

This exhibition is generously sponsored by George Orban &
Rae Ramsdell.

Artist Bio

Ruth Koelewyn researches the significance things have in our everyday lives and how we use objects to learn about the world, be part of society, and bond with others. Her practice includes curatorial projects, collaborative projects, and her individual art career. Her work has been supported by the Pennsylvania Council of the Arts, the Society of North American Goldsmiths, the Mondriaan Foundation, and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts. Most recently Ruth was resident artist at the Rotacyjny Dom Kultury Jazdów in Warsaw, Poland where she also presented her work in a solo exhibition.

Artist Statement

Skyshapes is a debut of new and existing work. Ruth states:

"My work is currently focused on depicting the shape and character of the sky in a given place. In Detroit, looking out at Lafayette Park, it creates blue crowns around large buildings with open parks surrounding them. In Scranton, Pennsylvania, where I lived prior to my return to Michigan, it was a small triangle of blue seen between tightly packed houses when you looked up past the mountains.

At Jazdow, a community in Warsaw, Poland where I worked in residence in May 2018, the sky was filtered and fragmented by the dense trees around the small houses. I am recording these characteristics because the sky, while helping to define a unique sense of space and place, is also something huge, outside ourselves, universal and ubiquitous. By putting the shape of the sky into drawings, collages and sculptures, I am making the sky a thing to hold, to understand, to identify as our own: a part of ourselves. When we live in a place for a long period, or perhaps are just confined briefly with a limited view, the scenes through our windows or on familiar walks around a neighborhood become a part of our sense of self, our security and comfort. By focusing attention on these sentiments my work serves to make viewers aware of their kinship with the world around them. By pulling the shapes of the sky formed by our structures into graspable forms, I offer a representation of the sky to inspire people to connect to the spaces they occupy and the people around them. It is a visual gesture to help people feel part of something larger than themselves.

At the Lansing Art Gallery & Education Center all the sky shapes I have recorded will come together in a single space. The Skyshapes series will give the audience the space to reflect on the way their skies connect to my sky, the skies of the places the work comes from, and the skies of the people viewing the work next to them. An interactive area where visitors will have the opportunity and materials to draw, collage, or stamp a sky shape to take home will underline this. I am also working with the hashtag #skyshapes to build social media awareness of the project and to create a worldwide group of participants."