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Edelweiss Shower

Artist: Ruth Owens (1959 – ) Primary
Date: 2019
21st century
Dimensions: 9 1/2 x 6 1/4 in. (241.3 x 158.75 mm)
Dimensions Extent: overall
Object Type: Painting
Creation Place: North America, United States
Medium and Support: Casein on paper
Credit Line: Museum Purchase with funds from the Black Art Fund, 2022.
Accession Number: 2022.21.01
This work is not currently on view

Artist's Statement:
Growing up in a military family, Ruth Owens was enrolled in many different schools. One that she attended from Kindergarten through third grade during the civil rights era was all-black. The students were significantly behind the national academic average then and this failure continues to this day. The inadequacy of our public schools for many black children can be seen throughout the U.S., and Lessons Lost, 2020 (96” x 96”) proposes to stimulate public discourse about this inequity. Edelweiss Shower, 2019 is a study for this large work acquired by the Ogden Museum of Southern Art in New Orleans. These paintings highlight the way systemic power structures set the stage for economic disparity from a very early age. They deny crucial educational opportunities necessary for financial stability later in life.
Ruth’s 1964 kindergarten graduation photo serves as a reference image for these paintings made in water-based mediums on paper. Optimistic young faces in their white caps and gowns are rendered in muted tones on paper, an impermanent medium consistent with the vulnerability of children. Their wide-eyed small bodies are surrounded by the Alpine edelweiss bloom, suggesting the ever-present concerns of a dominant Northern European culture. Their faces, however, are hopeful and inject an element of possibility in otherwise untenable circumstances.


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Black Art Fund
FUAM's Black Art Fund is a fundraising initiative to support the acquisition of artwork by contemporary Black artists, to address a major gap in the museum’s permanent collection. The museum is accepts both financial contributions to this fund to be used for purchases of artwork as well as donations of museum quality artworks to achieve greater representation and recognition of non-white artists and artworks.
Period and styles of painting, sculpture, graphic arts, and architecture dating from the recent past and present. It differs from modern art in that the term 'Contemporary art' does not carry the implication of a non-traditional style, but instead refers only to the time period in which the work was created. 'Modern' and 'Contemporary' are inherently fluid terms. The term 'Contemporary' is sometimes more narrowly used to refer to art from ca. 1960 or 1970 up to the present. To refer to the current time period without reference to style of art, use "contemporary (generic time frame)".
Unique works in which images are formed primarily by the direct application of pigments suspended in oil, water, egg yolk, molten wax, or other liquid, arranged in masses of color, onto a generally two-dimensional surface.
A natural phosphorus-containing protein found in milk, composed of amino acids Casein curds form naturally as milk sours, but it is also precipitated by adding dilute hydrochloric acid to hot skim milk. The curds are collected, washed and dried to form a white to yellowish powder. The dried casein is insoluble in water and alcohol but is soluble in carbonates and other alkaline solutions. For use, casein is soaked overnight in a solution with a weak alkali (ammonium carbonate, borax, or lime) to form a clear, viscous solution. Casein has been used as a glue and binder since earliest recorded periods. In the late 19th century, casein was made into a plastic by treatment with formaldehyde, used for small items such as buttons, beads, buckles, combs, cutlery handles, and knitting needles. They were often pigmented to simulate ivory, horn, or tortoiseshell.

Portfolio List

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