“There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.” – Aldous Huxley author of “Brave New World”
By Derrick White
“Where there is peace, there is culture; where there is culture, there is peace.” – Nicholas Roerich.
I believe people come into your life for a reason and one of the biggest blessings of being an educator is how many lives cross paths with my own. I was privileged enough to meet and befriend a Tyler Junior College student a few years ago and I have to say, if more people on this seemingly imploding planet were more like Ruth, things would be a lot better. Take my word for it. Local east Texas artist, author, numerologist and peace advocate Ruth Drayer has a warm, positive personality, an inner glow, and an eclectic background built from life experiences not formal education. She always knew she was an artist even though her early home life was, in her words, a battlefield and wasn’t conducive to creativity. She says she spent most of her early childhood hiding. When Ruth began college in Washington, DC, where she had grown up, she intended to teach art but instead she quit school and married a sailor whose life happen to cross her path. By the time her husband was discharged from the Navy and enrolled in medical school, Ruth was working full-time and was the mother of two children. Still she continued artistic pursuits and worked to brighten their home with color.
Years later, with four kids and a husband starting his private medical practice, Ruth took a local Continuing Education ceramics class and learned to work in clay. Ruth enrolled at the University of Texas at El Paso and took several art classes, and that’s when the magic happened. Unfortunately, then came turmoil. Ruth’s family experienced divorce. “I had to go to work in a florist shop and was trained to do weddings, and I learned the rules of design and discovered I had a natural gift for color,” states Ruth. She remembers, “My life became very hectic after my divorce.”
“As you simplify your life, the laws of the universe will be simpler; solitude will not be solitude, poverty will not be poverty, nor weakness, weakness.” – Henry David Thoreau.
Later, living in Santa Fe, New Mexico, Ruth owned an art gallery, managed another gallery, wood-burned designs on sheepskin coats, studied interior design, created rock gardens, and then traveled to Europe. “In Italy, I saw the great value of knowing art history as I recognized so many things I’d studied. I went to many museums, churches, and galleries throughout Europe, and by the time I got to see some of the work of the French Impressionists, I understood the controversy they had created with their brush strokes visible all over their canvases instead of the exact, precise, smooth brush strokes of earlier painters. I then studied color healing, color theory, and read everything I could find on color,” says Drayer.
It was in Italy Ruth realized she could put up with any inconvenience if there was beauty around. “This idea drew me to the work of the Russian visionary artist Nicholas Roerich, who believed beauty speaks an international, global language. If people were educated to the importance of art, we could all live in a world of peace. He was called a master of color and during the next 15 years I researched and wrote his biography, ‘Nicholas & Helena Roerich, the Spiritual Journey of Two Great Artists & Peacemakers.’ I saw many of his 7,000 pieces. It was his use of color that fascinated and inspired me most,” asserts Ruth. Nicholas Roerich established the peace pact, an international agreement allowing any nation to protect its cultural or artistic heritage with a symbolic banner, the Banner of Peace. The pact states, “Educational, artistic, and scientific institutions shall be protected and respected by belligerents without any discrimination. Thus, any site of cultural activity around the world can fly the Banner of Peace to declare neutrality, independent of combatant forces, and protected by international treaty.”
After writing and publishing a book on the Roerichs, Ruth began to find peace and tranquility in painting. She was drawn to non-representational art. “I wanted permission to paint without knowing what I was doing,” she says. Ruth adds, “It’s all a voyage of discovery, just like life.”
Ruth Drayer works in acrylics and builds up layers on the surface of the canvas. She uses texture to add extra elements then paints a spiritual symbol or word like love, peace, harmony, etc. which then gets masked and hidden. “Painting has opened another world for me. My art allows me into dimensions I’d never reach in any other way. I’m still fascinated with color, and I get very involved with each brush stroke and how it interacts with the one next to it. It has been so fascinating to see how much my work grows with a life of its own. I see my earlier work and wonder how I did it and wish I could do more, but I’ve never been able to reproduce anything I’ve already completed,” states the artist.
Artists who influence Drayer include Stanton McDonald Wright (American, early abstract painter), Nicholas Roerich (the aforementioned Russian painter, writer, archaeologist, theosophist), Wassily Kandinsky (Russian painter, art theorist and groundbreaker in purely non-representational painting), and Marc Chagall (Russian-French artist and modernist known for his color and dreamlike images).
“I’d say the most important advice I could give is to paint and create for you. When I began, I called my works ‘no thing’ (no object) paintings and I was embarrassed about what people would say when they saw them, and I shared them with very few. But when I had 12 completed, I had my first art show. My favorite compliment was from an artist friend who said I painted ‘nothing’ better than anyone she’d ever seen,” beams Ruth Drayer, artist and peacemaker.
Check out this artist of visions and dreams at www.ruthdrayer.com or find her on Facebook while you still can before she moves back to New Mexico to paint, live, dream, and receive love and support from her community.
“He who lives in harmony with himself lives in harmony with the universe.” – Marcus Aurelius.
* Obviously a borrowed title.
On Exhibit at The University of Texas at Tyler Art Galleries
UT Tyler hosts several galleries with a variety of art on exhibit. For more info, call (903)566-7237 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. On exhibit this month:
There are several galleries. The Meadows Gallery is located within the R. Don Cowan Fine and Performing Arts Center on the campus of UT Tyler and features rotating exhibitions. The Meadows Gallery exhibition schedule includes nationally known guest artist exhibitions, the Annual International Exhibition, faculty curated exhibitions, MFA thesis exhibitions, and a student juried exhibition each summer.
The UC Gallery is located on the second floor of the University Center. This gallery is dedicated to exhibiting student work.
The Fine Arts Complex (FAC/ARC) Gallery is located in the new Fine Arts Complex. The FAC Gallery provides a place for invited artists, undergraduates, and graduate students to display their works. In conjunction with art history courses, students have curated exhibitions from the Tyler Museum of Art’s permanent collection, given talks on the work, and hosted opening receptions in the gallery.
Exhibits scheduled are:
Thru March 9th – 33rd Annual International Exhibition
March 22nd (6pm) – MFA Thesis Exhibition Reception: Daniel Jake Arnold (Meadows Gallery)
March 29th (6pm) – MA Thesis Exhibition Reception: Kirsti Smith (FAC Gallery)
April 7th – 4th Annual Art History Symposium (ARC 112)
April 10th (5:30pm) – MA Thesis Presentation by JoBeth Cox (ARC 112)
April 12th (6pm) – MFA Thesis Exhibition Reception: Brandon Witschi (Meadows Gallery)
April 19th (5:30pm) – BA Thesis Presentation by Cree Summerfield (ARC 112)
April 19th (6pm) – 1st BFA Thesis Exhibition Reception (FAC Gallery)
April 26th (6pm) – 2nd BFA Thesis Exhibition Reception (FAC Gallery)
May 3rd (6pm) Annual Juried Student Exhibition Reception and Juror Talk (Meadows Gallery)
Call for Artist: “Unfettered” Exhibit April 7th
Call for Artist:
“Unfettered” Exhibit April 7th at Wagner Auto Group, Tyler
Attention artists: submission for the Art Show “Unfettered” to be held Saturday, April 7th (7-11pm), Wagner Auto Group, Tyler. This one night curated art show will have a scene like no other. “This will be an extremely exciting evening out to peruse original art, watch live art demos, and check out some extremely talented art vendors,” said Kerian Massey, curator of the show.
“We are looking for a variety of art with the theme of ‘Unfettered.’ To be unfettered is to come undone, to let go or to become free, without ties. Any artwork that carries this theme in any loose fashion will be considered.”
For more info contact Kerian Massey at email@example.com or call (903)714-7414
All art will be juried in by a panel of judges. Notice of Acceptance will be given Monday, March 26th.
For those who want to be a part of the show but would like to sell more, there will be an area for select fine art for sale. All artwork is subject to review for quality and content. Absolutely no resale items with the exception of canvas prints and fine art prints.
Art Events SPRING-ing Up For The Season
Events & Classes
Call for Artists & Vendors – April In Edom is April 21st-22nd and is an old fashioned folk, street fair for adults, kids and pets. There is free admission. At April in Edom, you can find 125 plus vendors with handmade and folk crafts, demonstrations, vintage items, great foods, awesome kids’ zone with arts and activities, pet parades and contests, 40 Performers on 3 Stages, and a Fire 5K Run. To apply, go to visitedom.com/participant-vendors, email April@VisitEdom.com, or call (844)633-6689.
March 15th (6-8pm) – Watercolor Painting Class – M6’s first Watercolor Painting Class cost is $40 and includes all of your materials and a complimentary glass of M6 Wine. Reserve your seat at m6winery.com/events. Feel free to bring snacks to enjoy while you paint. M6 Winery is located at 201 W. Main St., Bullard. This class is taught by Chelsea Presley.
March 24th (12 noon – 5pm) – Azalea Trails Art Show – Join during the Azalea Trails season as Smith County Historical Society hosts local artist John Randall York upstairs in the Payne Auditorium at SCHS building, 125 S. College Ave., Downtown Tyler. “We are so excited to see the wonderful showcase John will have available to the public. The Society is working with John to provide supplemental histories of his subjects and for the works he will have available for sale. Please join us for a viewing and history of multiple local landmarks.” If you would like more information please feel free to contact the Smith County Historical Society at facebook.com/smithcountyhistoricalsocietytx.
May 12th (4-10pm) – TJC Art Club 15 Year Reunion – Have you ever been in Art Club? Have you ever taken an art class at TJC? Has Chris Stewart ever intimidated you? Do think Paul Jones is weird? Do you want to see old friends or make new ones? Come hang out, reminisce, reconnect and have a beer at True Vine Brewing Company, 2453 Earl Campbell Parkway, Tyler. This will be a great for old and new friends alike.
EGuide Magazine’s Gig Guide
Date Night: From Fancy to Simple, Tyler Offers a Lot of Romance
March 24th – Tyler Azalea 10k, 5k, and Kids Run plus MORE!
Theatre Guide: March 15-18th, “The Lucky O’Learys” on Stage
The Apple Didn’t Fall Far From The Tree
DATE CHANGES!! April 2nd: Glass Rec. Center, Summer Camp Registration Open
The Skinny on Cooking at Home: The Cookbook Junkie
March 29th: Hop to the 17th Annual Twilight Easter Egg Hunt
2018 Azalea & Spring Flower Trails March 16th-April 1st
March 30th: Deana Carter in Concert at Liberty Hall
Connect With Us!
Free Stuff To Do
2018 Azalea & Spring Flower Trails March 16th-April 1st
We welcome you to the 59th Annual Azalea and Spring Flower Trail, featuring mile after mile of blooming azaleas, dogwoods,...
March 17th: Wildlife Walk & Navigation Revelation at Tyler State Park
At Tyler State Park, you can boat, fish, swim in the lake, hike, mountain bike, picnic, geocache, camp, bird watch...
Barnes & Noble Booksellers, Story Times
Story Time at the Book Store Every month Barnes & Noble (B&N) has a variety of events. All events are...
“Shape and Form” on Exhibit at Gallery Main Street
Featuring Work by Jessica Sanders and Cierra McGuckie An art show featuring two emerging local artists, Cierra McGuckie and Jessica Sanders,...
A Lock, A Key & A Symbol of Love
A Lover’s Tradition at a Rose Rudman Trail Bridge: February is the month of romance and Tyler has a unique...