artist statement

Art is exploration, investigation and seeking curiosities for the senses. What intrigues me the most is the interconnections between humans and the natural world. I am an ologist: For me being this means to research, conserve, and share the objects and creations that intrigue and spawn wonder. Working with the mannerisms of a scientific practice does not merely express my work it forges and constitutes it. Connections to matter, erosion, evaporation, solubility, and the earth cycles are a few natural occurrences that inspired me and literately produce my artwork. Nurturing chance and allowing the chemistry of the materials to do as they please, is the foundation of the systematic process. My motives are never those of competing or trying to up-rank nature, I seek to mimic nature’s process of physical change. 

artist biography

Ruby Merritt is a Western New York, Buffalo based professional artist, adjunct professor and teaching artist. Growing up in between the Great Lakes the lush natural ecosystems of wetlands, bogs, old growth forests, valleys and deep gorge canyons immensely influences Merritt’s artwork, research and interactive performance work. Merritt received her BFA, concentrating in Drawing and Painting from the State University of New York at New Paltz and a Masters of Fine Arts at the University at Buffalo, in 2013.

 

With a strong background of environmental studies, such as botany, geology, and conservation, Merritt has used those strong connections to science to further influence her art practice by exploring the connections where art and science collide and mix curiosities.

 

A familiar niche for Merritt’s artwork is the contemporary ‘art and science’ or ‘bio-art’ realm. Producing work that is process based, using earth cycles, such as rock and water cycles, to manipulate and nurture her work. Printmaking, photography and bookmaking have become an incipient nesting ground for displaying and capturing the shapes and patterns mimicking and documenting nature’s visual wonder.

 

When Merritt is not out digging through the dirt or in her studio, she is adjunct Professor at Niagara County Community College and D’Youville College. Believing that we need to perceive the natural world as art objects, Merritt frequently shares her experiences, techniques and instructs hand made projects as a Teaching Artist for Western New York Books Art Center and independently.

CV

Education:

2013           MFA Visual Studies, State University of New York at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY

2011            BFA, Drawing & Painting, State University of New York at New Paltz, New Paltz, NY (NP)

2008          Associate in Science, Fine Arts Niagara County Community College (NCCC), Sanborn, NY

 

Exhibitions:

2019             Patterns and Growth, Carnegie Art Center, North Tonawanda, NY

2019             wnybac Exhibition, Book Arts Center, Buffalo, NY

2018              Trimania, Buffalo Arts Studio, Buffalo, NY

                    Members Exhibition, Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY

2017              We_Us_Squared, Project 1,  Video Performance, Buffalo Arts Studio, Buffalo, NY

                    University at Buffalo MFA Alumni Show, CFA Lower Gallery, Buffalo, NY

                    Fine Arts Faculty Exhibition, Dolce Valvo Art Center, Sanborn, NY

                    Small Works by WNY Artists from the Gerald Mead Collection, Andrew L. Bouwhuis Library, Buffalo, NY

2016              Members Exhibition 42st, Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY

                    Conjuring a Rumpus, Starlight Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

                    Breathe, Manual Barreto Gallery, Buffao, NY

2015              Members Exhibition 41st, Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY

                    Bring to Light. Castellani Art Museum, Niagara Falls, NY

2014              Fine Arts Faculty Exhibition, Dolce Valvo Art Center, Sanborn, NY

                    Dodge West. Performance Video. Hallwalls Contemporary Art Center, Buffalo, NY

2013              A Show of Hands, Marion Art Gallery, Fredonia, New York

                    nonsense ≥ no sense, Collaborative Installation with Necole Zayatz and Ian McCrohan. Project 308 Gallery, No. Tonawanda, NY.  

                    Experiment-ology & Hike through the Gallery with the Artist, at Ology. Carnegie Art Center, North Tonawanda, NY

                    Ology, MFA Thesis show, Carnegie Art Center, North Tonawanda, NY

2012              Must Be Something in the Water, Project 308 Gallery, North Tonawanda, NY

                   The Laboratory; Rock Migration-Interactive Installation, MFA Open Studios, Visual Studies Dept, UB, Buffalo, NY.  

                   The Vermilion Stained, University at Buffalo Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

                   Chroma-Phase, University at Buffalo Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY

                   Displaced Objectives/Convoluted Conjuncture, Dorsky Gallery Curatorial, Long Island City, NY

                   Drag Bar, University at Buffalo Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY 

                   27th Annual Members Exhibition, Big Orbit, Buffalo, NY

2011              Hydro Cycle and Particulates, MFA Open Studios, Visual Studies Dept, UB, Buffalo, NY.

                   Parallax. Main Street Studios, Buffalo, NY

                   Terra Forms, Index Art Center, Newark, NJ

                   Stratum Strata, BFA Thesis Exhibition. Samuel Dorsky Museum of Art, State University of New York at New Paltz, NY

                   Crystallized, Catalysts and Concoctions, Smiley Art Building, NP, New Paltz, NY.

2010              Layers, Rotunda Gallery, NP, New Paltz, NY.

                    SWITCHSHOW. Smiley Art Building, NP, New Paltz, NY.

                    Wet Paint. Smiley Art Building, NP, New Paltz, NY.

                    In-between the Elements. Smiley Art Building, NP, New Paltz, NY.

                    BFA Haiti Benefit. Muddy Cup, New Paltz, NY.

2009             Caves and Found Places. Smiley Art Building, NP, New Paltz, NY.

2008             Graduating With Honors Exhibition. NCCC Art Gallery, Sanborn, NY.

                    SUNY Art Exhibition. State University Plaza Gallery, SUNY Albany, Albany, NY.
                    Best of SUNY Art Exhibition. New York State Museum, Albany, NY.

2006-08        ‘Showcase’ Art Exhibition. NCCC Art Gallery, Sanborn, NY.

2007              SUNY Art Exhibition. State University Plaza Gallery, SUNY Albany, Albany, NY.

        Best of SUNY Art Exhibition. New York State Museum, Albany, NY.

        Young Women Exhibition. Impact Artist Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

2006             Young Women exhibition, Impact Artist Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

        Damen University Art Exhibition, Damen University, Buffalo, NY.

 

 

Performances:

2018              Clinic for Well-Being. Trimania, Buffalo Arts Studio, Buffalo, NY.

2016-17           We_Us_Squared, Project 1,  Video Performance, Buffalo Arts Studio, Buffalo, NY

2015                Transpouring La Salle Park. Ruby Merritt and Necole Zayatz. Infringment Festival, Buffalo, NY

2012-14           Dodge West,  created by: George Afedzi-Hughes. Artist Collaboration, performance & Video. On going project.  

2012 Dec.        Trans-pouringing Sector 212, Ruby Merritt and Necole Zayatz. Visual Studies Speaker Series, Department of Visual                                               Studies, UB, NY: 12/3/2012.

2012 Oct.         Somatic Senses Explored, The Big Draw, Center for the Arts Atrium, UB Art Galleries, NY: 10/26/2012.

2012 Oct.         CataCombia, Ruby Merritt, George Hughes, Gary Sczerbaniewicz, Mary Johnson. Located at OCAD, for the Nuit Blanche

                      2012, Toronto, CA.  10/6/2012.

2011 Dec.         Trans-pouring Sector 3, Ruby Merritt and Necole Zayatz, Located at the The Blue Sky Mausoleum, Frank Lloyd

                      Wright, Forest Lawn Cemetery, Buffalo, NY 14214: 12/3/2011. Shown in Parallax Exhibition.

 

Awards /Achievements:

2012            Philip and Virginia Cuthbert Elliott Scholarship Award

2012            Graduate Tuition Scholarship

2009           Emerging Artists Scholarship, NCCC, Sanborn, NY

2006-08      President of Art Guild, NCCC, Sanborn, NY

2008           Student Activities Recognition of Excellence for Art Guild, NCCC, Sanborn, NY

                   Honorable Mention- ‘Showcase’ Exhibition, NCCC, Sanborn, NY

2007            Honorable Mention ‘Showcase’ Exhibition, NCCC, Sanborn, NY

                    Creator & Coordinator for Arts & Crafts Day for Day Care Children at NCCC, Sanborn, NY.

2006            Student Recognition Award; Excellence in Art. Rotary & Kiwanis Club of the Tonawandas, Tonawanda, NY

2006            Jurors Commendation for Outstanding Work, Young Women’s exhibition, Impact Artist Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

2002-06        President of Portfolio Club, North Tonawanda High School, North Tonawanda, NY.

2005            Honorable Mention for An Artistic Discovery Contest: The Congressional Art Competition. US House of

                    Representatives, Washington D. C. 

2005            Honorable Mention, Organ & Tissue Donation Poster Contest

 

Organizations:

2018              Western New York Book Arts Center, Buffalo, NY

2013              Faculty Advisor for Art Guild, NCCC’s Art Club/Organization

2012              Graduate Student Representative for Visual Studies Faculty UB 

2012              Graduate Student Grief Counselor for Visual Studies Department UB

2011               Visual Studies Treasurer for Graduate Student Association, UB

2011-2009       Student Art Alliance (SAA), State University at New Paltz, New Paltz, NY.

                     BFA Drawing and Painting League, State University at New Paltz, New Paltz, NY.

2008-2012,      Roycroft Campus Corporation, East Aurora, NY.

2007-present,  Buffalo Arts Studio, Buffalo, NY

          Hallwalls, Buffalo, NY.

         Big Orbit Gallery, Buffalo, NY

2006-2008      President of Art Guild, Fine Arts Department, NCCC

2006-Present    Member of Nature Sanctuary Society of Western New York Inc.;

                      National Audubon Society; Buffalo Niagara RiverKeepers

 

Publications and Reviews:

2018               Fast, Cheap & Easy Copy Art Revolution. Published Catalog: Designer. CEPA Gallery, Buffalo, NY

2013               Member Profile: Ruby Merritt’s Art From Nature. Nature Preserves The Nature Sanctuary

                       Society of Western New York. Volume 13, Number 3 September 2013. P.S

2013                 Project 308 Show is a Three-Artist Collaborative Installation, Danielle Haynes, The Tonawanda News. June 14, 2013.

2013                 The Earth’s Art, Jill Keppeler, The Tonawanda News, Tonawanda, NY. April 7, 2013.

2012                 Interview with Ruby Merritt, Chroma-Phase, Nick Ostness. UB Art Galleries, Buffalo, NY

2012                 Masterful, Jack Foran. Art Voice Vol. 11 No. 17 2/26/12-5/2/12, p. 15

2012                 Science Evolves Into Art, Steph O’Bryan. The Spectrum, Buffalo, NY 4/11/2012

2008                Space, Online Art Gallery, The State University of New York at Albany, Albany, NY. Space, SUNY Art Exhibition Poster.                                          State University Plaza Gallery, SUNY Albany, Albany, NY. 

2007                 'Go-to girls,' play's the thing. Paul Westmoore The Buffalo News, Buffalo, NY. March 22, 2007.

 

Experience:

2014                 Art & the Everyday Professor, Visual Studies Department, UB, Buffalo, NY.

2014                 Drawing 1 Professor, Niagara County Community College, Sanborn, NY.

2013                Design I (2-D Design) Professor, Niagara County Community College, Sanborn, NY.

2013                 Drawing & Design Instructor (Art and the Everyday), Visual Studies Department, UB.

2012                 Intaglio Printmaking Instructor, Visual Studies Dept., Center for the Arts, UB.

2013                Bio-Art Laboratory Assistant for Paul Vanouse, Buffalo, NY

2012                 Installation Assistant for Necole Zayatz,  Buffalo, NY.

2012                 Installation Head Assistant for Kathy Goodell, Causey Contemporary, Brooklyn, NY

2011                 Personal Instructor for Adobe Design Programs, New Paltz, NY.

2011                 Installation Head Assistant for Kathy Goodell, Mesmer Eyes Artprize, Grand Rapids Art Museum, Grand Rapids, MI. 2011                                       Teaching Assistant, Water Media and Collage, Professor Kathy Goodell, State University at New Paltz, NY.

2009-2012        Studio Assistant for Professional Artist Kathy Goodell, New Paltz, NY.

2007-2006       Fine Arts and Design Programs Tutor, NCCC, NY.

                       Design/Mac Computer Room Monitor, NCCC, NY.

 

Additional Education and Honors:

2013-Current            Professional Artist, Producing Work, maintain online website.

2018- Current           Hands on Demonstrations for events at WNYBAC, Buffalo, NY.

2018- Current           Studio Assistant for Professional Artist Adele Henderson, Buffalo, NY.

2018- Current           Greeting, sharing information on artists and art at openings, Indigo Art Gallery, Buffalo, NY.

2013-Current            Volunteering at Buffalo Arts Studio, Buffalo, NY.

2019               Professional Development: Arts-Integrated Teachings: Exploring Principles and Practices. Hosted by APL & YA-WNY, Buffalo, NY.

                       March 7, 2019. Led by Marcia Daft, Kennedy Center Teaching Artist.

2019               Volunteering at Journeys End Refugee Center, painting lessons & Graphic Design work.

2018               Laying A Foundation: Defining Arts Integration, Kennedy Center’s Professional Development, Hosted by Young Audiences of                               WNY. Dec. 6, 2018.

2018               Lincoln Center Education’s 2018 Teaching Artist Development Labs, Buffalo, NY. April 26, 2018.

2011               Trained Health and Safety for Studio/ University workshops & laboratories.

                    Trained Health and Safety for Proper Posture and Techniques for Art/ Design Production.

2009-2011       State University of New York at New Paltz Deans List

2008               Associate in Science, concentrating in Fine Arts, with High Distinction, Niagara County Community College (NCCC), 

                      Sanborn, NY

                      PTK; Phi Theata Kappa, International Honor Society, NCCC

2008-06          Deans List, Niagara County Community College, Sanborn, NY

2005                New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA)

2004               New York State Summer School of the Arts (NYSSSA)

 

Skills:

Painting-Oil, Acrylic, Watercolor, Gauche, Inks, Dye, Encaustics, pigment grinding

Advance Drawing, Box (portfolio, clam-shell) making

Printmaking-Intaglio, Advanced Etching, Monoprint, Lithography, Paper making

Photography-Black & White Darkroom, 35 mm Camera, Digital

Digital Imaging, Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign

Basic Web Design, Dreamweaver

Ceramics, Glaze mixing

Wood Sculpture, Steel Working,

 

Experience in Studio & Educational Environments:

Attended, 2012 Conference for Teaching Assistants, University at Buffalo.

Painting, Drawing, Foundation Level Art & Design, Operations and Maintenance

Printmaking Studio (Intaglio, Relief, Lithography) Operations, Solvent & Chemistry Production and studio Maintenance

Sculpture Studio-Large Machinery and Wood/Steel shop Functions and Maintenance

Photography Dark Room (Black and White) Operations, Solvent & Chemistry and Maintenance

Secretary/ Office attendant for Visual Studies Main Office, Office Machine Functioning and Operating

Computer Lab Monitor, Scanning and Printing Functioning and Operating 

Trained Health and Safety for Studio/ University workshops & laboratories.

Trained Health and Safety for Proper Posture and Techniques for Art/ Design Production.