CTFAC opens new exhibit featuring Tarleton Graduate

Rachel Tuggle

STEPHENVILLE (February 8, 2017) – A new exhibit will open at the Clark Regional Airport on Feb. 9, featuring the work of local artist Michael Ruiz Jr. The Tarleton graduate’s paintings will be on display through April 28.

“Michael is an outstanding young artist, a recent graduate of Tarleton and was an art camp volunteer while he was in high school,” Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council Executive Director Julie Smith said in an email interview. “I am tremendously proud of him and honored to feature his work.”

Ruiz’s art focuses on his athletic experiences, which began in junior high. His most recent work portrays football players on the sidelines.

“I spent some time on the sideline,” Ruiz said in a statement. “It’s an interesting vantage point because while I was still a part of the action, I was not the focus. Being a part of this in-between space shifted my focus and changed my perspective on the players of the game.”

All of Ruiz’s paintings for this exhibit are painted in gray scale, which Ruiz feels  removes distractions from the focus of the pieces.

“I think painting in black and white adds a sense of unity to all of the players, almost as if they all play for the same team,” Ruiz said.

This spring exhibit will not be Ruiz’s first opportunity to show the public his work. He has been featured in the Clyde H. Wells Fine Arts Gallery, Fort Worth Community Arts Center and the Cross Timbers Fine Arts Council.

Additionally, Ruiz graduated with a Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Studio Art from Tarleton State University and plans on attending graduate school for art.

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