Goodbye and Good Luck, Linda Ruzga!
Linda Ruzga has worked at Arts of Life since 2002. In that time, she developed a rich practice as a mixed media artist. Before even opening the location on Carroll, Linda already had a sense of the possibility of experimentation. She continued to use chance and surprise as a major element in her work. Linda selected her medium based on its ability to best express and bring alive her subject matter.
In December, Linda left the studio to move closer to family in Minnesota. She is starting some new adventures, after over 30 years as an active community member in Chicago. Before she left, she took some time to reflect on her career as an artist and the legacy she leaves behind with Studio Manager, Catherine Norcott.
Catherine (CN): Linda, what was it like when you first started working at Arts of Life?
Linda (LR): It was easy to start. I have friends in the studio.
CN: What is it like to work here? Please talk a bit about your practice.
LR: I like Arts of Life. I made all my pictures here. I draw pictures. They are my art. Sometimes trees, flowers, animals, the blue sky and clouds and the sun. I’m teaching people how to be an artist every day!
CN: I know that you vary between 2D and 3D work. What have you been exploring beyond just painting and drawing?
LR: I talk to Julia. I want to make things with that string. I was weaving over and under! Over and under!
CN: Is that like the work you have in the gallery right now? What do you think is the best thing about working with fiber?
LR: That’s my weaving. It feels nice to see it! Other people think it looks nice. Weaving and using fabric. I go under and over. That’s my favorite.
CN: One of the things you’re known for is your style. You love to look at pictures of fashion, and you like to dress up too. Do you think fashion influences your work and your life?
LR: I love fashion. I wore my fur coat to work. When I wear nice clothes I feel pretty and snazzy! Ooh! You can bring me some flowers!
CN: You have a pretty wild sense of humor too. What do you like best about joking around?
LR: I like to be funny. I say “Boo!”. I like it when people laugh. I like to laugh too. I make funny faces.
CN: What else did you do in your time at the studio?
LR: I did yoga and meditation. I feel good about ‘em. It feels nice to stretch out.
CN: Do you have advice for new people who come to the studio?
LR: Look all around. Sit up, look at the ceiling.
CN: That’s great advice! It is so important to be observant as an artist!
CN: I know that you’ve seen a lot of people come and go at the studio. You’ve been here for many years and have a lot of wisdom about being part of the studio. Is there anything else you want to say to the Arts of Life community?
LR: I want you to remember me. I did things for myself! I’m a strong woman!
We wish Linda all the best in her adventures ahead! She has been such an important and influential creator in our community. The studio will not be the same without her!