Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination

June 11 – August 28, 2022
Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination, a mixed-media art installation, features hand-blown glass sculptures initially conveying a barren landscape of tree stumps until a complex and colorful alternative environment is revealed through an augmented-reality lens. Visitors simultaneously view the tangible and virtual artworks via an app. By pointing a smartphone or Museum-provided iPad at tree rings painted on each stump, the use of QR codes allow visitors to see appendages of Ruffner-designed fictional species. These appendages are seemingly evolved from existing fruits and flowers to adapt to their mythical, devastated environment. Also displayed on gallery walls are nineteen drawings that inspired the augmented-reality images. Reforestation of the Imagination raises questions about reality and fantasy, concrete and abstract, and desolation and hope, while highlighting contemporary ecological issues. Seattle-based artist Ginny Ruffner designed her imaginary species to evolve and flourish in unexpected, beautiful, and optimistic ways.

Installation created by Ginny Ruffner, in collaboration with Grant Kirkpatrick and with support of MadArt, Seattle. It was first exhibited at MadArt Studio in 2018.

Artworks courtesy of Ginny Ruffner Studio, dated 2017. Tree stumps are handblown glass with acrylic paint tree rings; “island” supports are plywood, low-density foam, fiberglass, epoxy, sand, pebbles, and acrylic paint; drawings are watercolor, pencil, and image transfer on paper.

Ginny Ruffner: Reforestation of the Imagination is organized by the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. Generous support has been provided by the Smithsonian American Women’s History Initiative, Elizabeth and James Eisenstein, Ed and Kathy Fries, Shelby and Frederick Gans, James Renwick Alliance, Colleen and John Kotelly, Betty and Whitney MacMillan, Jacqueline B. Mars, Kim and Jon Shirley Foundation, and Myra and Harold Weiss.

Support for this exhibition is provided by Art Bridges. Support also comes from the International Council for the International Year of Glass.

 

 

 

Exhibition Highlights

Installation view at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, 2022, photo by Richard Wunsch
Installation view at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, 2022, photo by Richard Wunsch
Installation view at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum, 2022, photo by Richard Wunsch
Ginny Ruffner with Grant Kirkpatrick, Ventus ingenero (Windmill flower), 2017, sculpture (handblown glass with acrylic paint tree rings) and island (plywood, low-density foam, fiberglass, epoxy, sand, pebbles, and acrylic paint), sculpture: 14 x 12 x 7 inches, courtesy MadArt, photo by James Harnois
Ginny Ruffner with Grant Kirkpatrick, Digitalis artherium (Double art flowers), 2017, sculpture (handblown glass with acrylic paint tree rings), island (plywood, low-density foam, fiberglass, epoxy, sand, pebbles, and acrylic paint), and holographic image, sculpture: 9 x 13 x 11 ½ inches, installation view at MadArt Studio, 2018, courtesy MadArt, photo by James Harnois
Ginny Ruffner, Digitalis artherium (Double art flowers), 2017, watercolor, pencil, and image transfer on paper, 26 x 18 ½ inches, collection of the artist, photo by Gene Young
Ginny Ruffner, courtesy of the artist, photo by Doug Tucker

Thanks to the members, donors, grantors, and sponsors who support Woodson Art Museum exhibitions and programs. Exhibitions and programs are supported in part by a grant from the Wisconsin Arts Board with funds from the State of Wisconsin and the National Endowment for the Arts. Marketing is supported in part by City of Wausau Room Tax funds.

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