Sunday, November 30, 2008
Saturday, November 29, 2008
In the Palm Springs area, Ginny's art can be seen at Imago's Studio Gallery 11/29/08 @ 5 -8p.m.
by Regina Hackett is the Art Critic for The Seattle P.I.
When 39-year-old artist Ginny Ruffner was in a coma from a car crash in North Carolina that should have killed her, doctors tried to prepare her friends and family for the worst. She might not wake up at all. Should she wake, she wasn't going to be able to walk, talk or take care of herself.
As far as making art was concerned, it was over. Nobody survives a head injury as massive as hers without brain damage, and the damage could easily be permanent.
In a similar situation, most people lose hope. The people surrounding Ruffner, however, weren't most people. Her mother and father, Carolyn and Al Martin, of Fort Mill, S.C., were by Ginny's bedside at the hospital in Charlotte, N.C. every day. "My parents were wonderful," says Ginny, "and so were my brother Al and my sisters Kay and Melinda." Her wide circle of friends, particularly those from the Pacific Northwest, visited often. Still, the doctors had little confidence that she would be able to create art again.
Five months after the uninsured teenage driver lost control of her car and plowed head-on into her lane, Ruffner opened her eyes She was back. As an artist of international standing in the contemporary glass movement, she had thousands of people around the world cheering her on. After the relief, however, doubt set in. How much of the original person could be left after such an accident? Where is spirit stored, and can a head injury kill creativity?
The answer wasn't long in coming. Although she couldn't speak, see clearly or move the left side of her body, she gestured to an alphabet board. By pointing at the letters she delivered a message to the doctor who had ordered her restrained at night to keep her from rolling out of bed. "Untie me," she spelled out, "or I'm calling the AMA." When informed that her studio had been dismantled in Seattle, she used the spelling board again, "I need my studio." Her brother, Greenville, S.C. lawyer, Al Martin Jr. and his wife Laura, made the long trip to Seattle and found her former studio was still for rent. They moved everything back in there for her.
Inside her damaged body, her intelligence, humor, courage and imagination were intact. The artist was still there too. She'd need it all to recover. Today, at 53, she can walk, talk and leave women half her age trailing behind her in workouts at the gym. Her lovely Southern voice remains a brittle shadow of itself, but it's getting stronger each year. "Thank God I wasn't an opera singer," she says.
In her view, she was lifted off the ground by a tornado of a disaster, but she pulled herself out of it, found her feet as a person and artist, and continues to be delighted by the world. "I'm a lemonade from lemons kind of person," she likes to say. She also likes to say that her glass is never less than half full.
Remember that tornado? She not only accepted it, she made it bloom. On June 25, "Creativity: The Flowering Tornado, Art by Ginny Ruffner" opens at Tacoma's Museum of Glass. The exhibit that debuted in 2003 at the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts features a pop-up book full of illustrated, self-help adages. Instead of a one-off eccentricity, the book represents the heart of Ruffner's aesthetic.
Clichés aren't corny to her and never were. She began her career, after all, as a lampwork artist. Lampwork is the back door to the glass revolution. Hobbyists are usually the ones who heat rods of glass with a small torch, making paperweights, necklaces and those cute little glass baubles of horses, angels, pets, hearts and flowers, the kind of thing found standing on doilies in homey display cases.
Ruffner was trained at the University of Georgia as a painter, graduating with an M.F.A. in 1975. Glass was just gaining ground as a contemporary movement, and it drew her almost immediately. Glass blowers were the big deal, and they were nearly all men.
Following her instincts, she sidestepped the men and focused on the humble form of lampwork. When she began, she was the only serious artist concentrating on it. Thanks to her, lampwork is now common and unchallenged in art circles.
Her gift is the ability to consider a corny thing through the radiant prism of her imagination. In her hands, what is stale becomes animate and full of complication. She doesn't bring high art and low kitsch together. She simply doesn't think in those terms. For her, Picasso and somebody's cookie-baking great grandmother can be inspirations on the same level.
In her sculptures, pop-psychology insights share illustrated pride of place with Juan Mirò's black and red patterning, Paul Klee's wandering lines, Picasso's heads and all manner of circus toys. Lowbrow has many highbrow adherents these days, but Ruffner's samplings are entirely devoid of irony. In her aesthetic, any x can equal any y, and the jet stream of creativity courses through both the rare and the commonplace.
At dinner at Dale Chihuly's in the late 1980s, he pointed out that she was the first to claim Seattle had become the "Manhattan of glass art." People pounced on the phrase and used it without attribution. "That's fine," she replied. "They like it, they can have it. You don't need the water when you've got the well."
That confidence still marks everything she does.
Ruffner's sculptures in glass are the visual equivalent of break dancing. They have a clattery rhythm, a blooming garden sense of color and a fantastic kind of Mobius-strip fluidity. Interconnected webs of multicolored tubes curl and cave in on themselves, drunk on their own high spirits and sprouting appendages: apples, peaches pumpkin pies; hands, eyes, hearts, flower petals and leaves; wine bottles, chunks of cheese and flying fish.
After her accident, she began to produce stage sets for her sculptures, and then the sculptures became stage sets. Today, glass is just one tool in her box. Recent sculptures are sometimes bronze. They have a sense of animal life about them, like overgrown dogs with glass tongues lolling out. She also uses steel, as in, steel jaws ready to snap. There are rose petals that really are rose petals, and outer space flowers that really are glass.
Art historian Vicki Halper noted that once Ruffner's visual vocabulary becomes familiar, "we can almost construct sentences out of her sculptures." Pencils, said Halper, "stand for art, wings for transcendence, hearts for feeling, tornadoes for creativity, fruit for bounty, webs for interconnectedness, and the Old Masters for inspiration."
Ruffner's work is down home and sophisticated. Even after decades of postmodern high / low conjunctions, her lack of snobbery makes her rare. It can still raises hackles, especially in those of critics who remain appalled by her lack of irony. About her "Mind Garden" installation at the Seattle Art Museum in 2000, one critic wrote that it was "flat-footed and literal."
Never flat-footed. No one is so light in her use of allusions. What Tom Robbins once wrote about angels is true of Ruffner, that they can fly because they take themselves lightly. Her art invites us to do the same. We can leave out prejudices against the literal at the door, because she brings blooming physicality to the literal and gives it abundant new life.
Friday, November 28, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Meet This Lucky Turkey Chick named Trevor who thinks he;s a duck. The Three day old bird has been fitted with webbed slippers to try to straighten out his deformed toes.
He has been helped by vets who found the conventional treatment of putting the curled up toes in splints did not work.
He has been spared the chop for this particular misery.
The Coral Sands wishes Sanders everywhere a very Happy Thanksgiving...Ruby will be having Turkey Day at Daveys Hideaway with 14 others around 2p.m. Wonderful day unfolding. Guests are all in the pool after a beautiful rainstorm. We love the smell of fresh rain at The Sands.
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
Friday, November 21, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Sitting on top of the world
November 12, 2008
Be happy, dear hearts, and allow yourselves a few more weeks of quiet exultation. It isn't gloating, it's satisfaction at a job well done. He was a superb candidate, serious, professorial but with a flashing grin and a buoyancy that comes from working out in the gym every morning. He spoke in a genuine voice, not senatorial at all. He relished campaigning. He accepted adulation gracefully. He brandished his sword against his opponents without mocking or belittling them. He was elegant, unaffected, utterly American, and now (Wow) suddenly America is cool. Chicago is cool. Chicago!!!
We threw the dice and we won the jackpot and elected a black guy with a Harvard degree, the middle name Hussein and a sense of humor-he said, "I've got relatives who look like Bernie Mac, and I've got relatives who look like Margaret Thatcher." The French junior minister for human rights said, "On this morning, we all want to be American so we can take a bite of this dream unfolding before our eyes." When was the last time you heard someone from France say they wanted to be American and take a bite of something of ours? Ponder that for a moment.
The world expects us to elect pompous yahoos, and instead we have us a 47-year-old prince from the prairie who cheerfully ran the race, and when his opponents threw sand at him, he just smiled back. He'll be the first president in history to look really good making a jump shot. He loves his classy wife and his sweet little daughters. At the same time, he knows pop music, American lit and constitutional law. I just can't imagine anybody cooler.
It feels good to be cool, and all of us can share in that, even sour old right-wingers and embittered blottoheads. Next time you fly to Heathrow and hand your passport to the man with the badge, he's going to see "United States of America" and look up and grin. Even if you worship in the church of Fox, everyone you meet overseas is going to ask you about Obama, and you may as well say you voted for him because, my friends, he is your line of credit over there. No need anymore to try to look Canadian.
And the coolest thing about him is the fact that back in the early '90s, given a book contract after the hoo-ha about his becoming the First Black Editor of The Harvard Law Review, instead of writing the basic exploitation book he could've written, he put his head down and worked hard for a few years and wrote a good book, an honest one, which, since his rise in politics, has earned the Obamas enough to buy a nice house and put money in the bank. A successful American entrepreneur.
Our hero who galloped to victory has inherited a gigantic mess. The country is sunk in debt. The Treasury announced it must borrow $550 billion to get the government through the fourth quarter, more than the entire deficit for 2008, so he will have to raise taxes and not only on bankers and lumber barons. His promise never to raise the retirement age is not a good idea. Whatever he promised the Iowa farmers about subsidizing ethanol is best forgotten at this point. We may not be getting our National Health Service cards anytime soon. And so on and so on.
So enjoy the afterglow of the election awhile longer. We all walk taller this fall. People in Copenhagen and Stockholm are sending congratulatory e-mails-imagine! We are being admired by Danes and Swedes! And Chicago becomes The First City. Step aside, San Francisco. Shut up, New York. The Midwest is cool now. The mind reels. Have a good day.
Garrison Keillor is radio host and author.
------ End of Forwarded Message
Jason takes found objects that represent the subject and amasses them into these canvas creations. He is threatening to do one out of motel keys, toilet paper rolls, laundry lint and salt and pepper shakers of yours truly.
These two are a delightful new addition to our Sander community. They have been together for 12 years on Valentines Day.
Jason has been blowing Desert residents away with his remarkable canvas sculptures. Sander Jamie Kabler bought the Andy Warhol. I will post a pic of that to follow. Adam is an artist in his own right. A painter. These two live in San Francisco.
Saturday, November 15, 2008
Hardly any American kid growing up in the 1950s was left untouched by Yma Sumac. I don't mind admitting she scared the living crap out of me. I begin with this: I had never, between the ages of six and ten, when grudgingly permitted to attend the first half hour of my parents cocktail parties, seen or heard anything so exotic. And the fact that she blew the adults in the room away meant something; I didn't know what, but it was profound enough to stay their hands midway to their gaping mouths, a Vienna Sausage swinging on a toothpick held aloft but forgotten in the gravid and revealing moment, and a look of amazement plastered across their faces. It was, I later learned, the call of the jungle that had them so enthralled.
The woman shrieked like a bird and growled like a panther. And such an air of mystery about her--the unsmiling face, the repertoire from some far off land of savages, she seemed to me to be doing some covert thing that we would soon regret, like summoning the devil. She carried herself like a princess and marketed the royal posture, too. Said to be descended from the last Incan emperor, Sumac caused a sensation wherever she performed. Until The Beatles, there was no better Ed Sullivan Show than Yma Sumac and Topo Gigio.
Yma personified the animal in us and I was so curious about and afraid of her that she nearly consumed me one year. It was thrilling to know that a woman like her existed somewhere in the world as opposed to the dull white women of my parish church. Even when she lost her magic, when I became an adult and at last understood what the elemental force was that gripped her, I remained fond of her and I was saddened to learn she'd died.
Friday, November 14, 2008
Tom is at home in Little Tuscany accompanied by his buddy Art. These beautiful flowers compliments of Friend and Sander Dr. Andy Elliott.
Tom thanks you all for this support.
Please continue to call and send cards.
Tom will have a three month recovery.
He needs you.
Many Thanks to Sander, David Staskowski, for reminding me that today is November 15...the day that marks the Anniversary of the Passage of my Dear Sweet Daddy, Mel. Things have been abit Frantic at the Ranch with Tom's accident taking the latest stage. Tom came out of surgery yesterday around 5 p.m. The Surgeon reported that Tom had severed three tendons that he was able to reattach ,however it will be a delicate recovery. Tom will not have any use of his left arm for a period of three months. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers as he goes through this difficult recovery period.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Yesterday at approximately 1 p.m. Tom Perry was moving a 7 foot by 8 foot mirror with his business partner Art. As they were moving the mirror it buckled and broke coming down on the Top of Tom's left arm. This left a gash of 11 inches the length of which one can view the bone. An artery was severed. This will be a delicate surgery and Tom will not have the use of this arm for 3 months. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. He needs them right this minute. Thank you, Sanders. Ruby
Cards should be sent to:
210 West Stevens Road
Palm Springs, Ca. 92262
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
Sanders...Obviously it isn't Xmas...but this Somehow Catches the Wonderful Spirit of Sander Tom Perry...Tom was in an accident today...
Tom will undergo surgery tonight. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers. Remember just how fragile life is and bless each moment that we are all alive.
Please send cards to The Coral Sands for Tom Perry.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Monday, November 10, 2008
Sunday, November 9, 2008
Friday, November 7, 2008
Thursday, November 6, 2008
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
Monday, November 3, 2008
> The year is 2016. We glance at the television one morning and see
> President Obama having another of his many press conferences . He has
> now been in office for almost 8 years. It hasn't been perfect, but
> things are way better than when he took office in January of 2009.
> You notice that he still has that winning smile and that take charge/
> positive energy that he had when he was campaigning way back in 2008.
> You remember back to how concerned you were about whether or not he
> would win in 2008, contented now that he has been safely in office
> for such a long time. He and Congress have done much to address
> global warming, health care, development of alternative energy
> sources and a variety of other important matters to the country and
> the planet. You feel deep gratitude for the past eight years and how
> things have unfolded.
> See it...Feel it....Breathe it...Pass it on... forwarded to us from
> an unknown author, makes perfect sense to me....
> I don't know much about the Law of Attraction or if you've ever heard
> of it. But surely you've heard of the phrase, 'What you resist,
> persists.' The more we don't want something, the more it finds us.
> For example - the more we fight drugs, the more they seem to be here.
> So lets stop fighting against McCain and Palin, and start working
> 'for' Obama-Biden. Lets stop driving ourselves crazy with all of the
> outrageous mind upsetting details about them and start remembering
> all of the wonderful reasons we want Obama.
> THE CHALLENGE: take 30 seconds right now. Close your eyes and imagine
> exactly what our country will feel like with President Obama. Imagine
> how good it will feel. Imagine whatever it is about him that you wish.
> Imagine the pride.
> Imagine the diplomacy.
> Imagine the peace.
> Imagine the wind mills and the clean cars.
> Imagine the citizen groups.
> Imagine the earth being healed and revitalized.
> Imagine being very proud of your country and its leader.
> Imagine whatever it is that draws you to support Obama.
> Imagine what your life will look like.
> Imagine it several times a day. We can shift and change the vibration
> of this country with positive visions just like this.
> DO IT.. It will feel good!
> Then pass this on to all of your Obama supporter friends. If we all
> take 30 seconds several times a day to shift into this positive
> vibration, it will work. YES WE CAN.