| Ruth Burke during a performance piece. Photo by Stephen Davis
Ruth Burke ’08 is a talented performance artist whose work is rooted in her Beaumont education.
After graduating from Beaumont, Ruth attended the Ohio State University, where she graduated with a degree in Fine Arts, Art and Technology. This program is conceptually-driven, which was well-suited to Ruth's creative process.
While Ruth was a student at Beaumont, she was part of the intensive studio art program, in which students study art for all four years of their high school career.
“Having the choice to take art classes in high school helped me figure out if that was what I wanted to do and what I was passionate about,” Ruth said. “[In college] I already understood form, which was really helpful.”
Ruth added that obtaining those basic art skills while still in high school let her devote more energy to polishing her skill set in other areas, such as the Adobe Creative Suite. Her other courses - including French with Mr. Langa – influenced her greatly, and she even drew ideas from Mr. Langa’s high school class into some of her later artwork.
Ruth’s artwork draws mainly from personal experiences and research, focusing on how materials relate to each other. She creates mostly sculpture and performance-based pieces where viewers can participate with the art as opposed to only spectating. Ruth currently is showing in a solo art show in Nelsonville, Ohio, and will have a piece in Columbus’s Masterwork show this summer, a highly competitive juried show. She has also had pieces in the Ohio State Fair, and was recently awarded a grant from the Greater Columbus Arts Council.
Ruth will be attending the University of Michigan beginning this fall for a two-year master’s program in fine arts in the Penny Stamp School of Art and Design. The fully-funded program is very selective, with only five students accepted to the program for the next school year. The program is interdisciplinary, and Ruth will work with professors in anthropology and possibly ethnography to connect disciplines and make artwork accessible and understandable to more people. Overall, Ruth is excited to use her artwork for the greater good.
According to Ruth, one of her takeaways from her Beaumont education was to always be herself, which is something she would advise a Beaumont student of today to hold close to their heart.
“Believe in yourself and be who you are,” she said. “Always follow you own path.”
To view Ruth’s artwork, visit her website: http://www.ruthkburke.com/