Today I am featuring a HeART of the city board member and up and coming artist. On Thursday, August 17th from 5-9p.m. you can meet Hali Ruisard and see her work on the Trubble Brewing art wall. You may have met her at the Three Rivers Festival HeART of the City event, the Allen County Library art fair last month, or maybe even the Mayday Art Show at Pint N Slice. Who knows, maybe you ran into her at Buskerfest or even the Pancake and Art show in Chicago last year. If you’re going to the SPCA benefit with HeART of the City in September, you’ll see her there too! She is forming a presence in the Fort Wayne art scene and participating in every opportunity she is given. No matter where you meet, you’ll remember her kind smile and pleasant demeanor.
Fort Wayne is bustling with talent. That is why successful artists here understand the importance of inclusivity and collaboration. If talent works together rather than being in a cut-throat competition, it thrives. Hali is an artist who understands this. She disclosed to me that she has done a collaboration with Daniel Church, Jeff Stumpp, Beth Collier, Cecelia Dunfin, and Tricia Cavender in which they put up easels and would work a few minutes on each piece, rotating to the next easel when they were done. She noted that she enjoyed being able to work with others’ work and ideas because it allowed her to draw things she normally wouldn’t.
I was impressed to discover that Ruisard does not have a formal art education. Her practice came early on in childhood. Always drawing, her focus was first on weird animals she found in her Children’s Encyclopedia. She took a class with Leslie White at Anthis and hopes to take more classes and attend workshops in the future. Fort Wayne has a ton of those through Wunderkammer and other art collectives, so perhaps in attending one of them you’ll run into her there! Ruisard has always used art as an outlet. Although creating is not new to her, calling herself an artist is. Previous works of hers have been done in pastel and charcoal. Two years ago she started painting with watercolors. Examples of her recent work are now hanging at Trubble Brewing. She said she has recently started acrylic painting as well and has a body of work in that technique she would like to share.
I am always interested to know what it is about the Fort Wayne Community that attracts such a large art community. Hali’s answer revealed her intended role in this scene,
“I think there are some very talented artists in Fort Wayne,” she commented, “I feel like the artists scene has a lot to offer here. I think here is a good mix of artists just starting out and artists that have been doing this a long time. That is why I’m excited to be a part of the HeART of the City; it includes everyone.”
Since I am new to Fort Wayne I understand how important this idea of inclusivity has been to me. The art world can sometimes be very exclusive. Because of this, I am particularly inclined to stand and applaud the HeART of the city effort and the artists who stand behind combatting those attitudes. These artists are all like gardeners, watering each other and helping one another grow. It seems that Hali and her crew understand that everyone can bloom and project their beauty if they work together.
Art is not the only thing Hali spends her time doing. During the school year Hali is a Cafeteria Assistant Floater at Fort Wayne Community Schools. She gardens, and spends quite a bit of time painting in her spare time. She aims to spend time around other artists because being around creative people motivates her. Books that she enjoys are also a source for her artwork, as well as alien stories on the Internet. She is particularly motivated by Pop Surrealism as well, and new techniques she discovers online. I am looking forward to seeing her reflections of what inspires her in the future on walls around the city.
I will leave you with some motivation and inspiration I received from this gifted woman. When asked what she would like to tell young artists and why, she responded with the following:
“Don’t ever give up on creating. And don’t let other people discourage you from doing what you love. There are people out there that will appreciate your art, and everyone has projects they aren’t proud of, but don’t let it stop you.”
Hopefully you will have the blessing of meeting her soon.
You can find her on Facebook, or contact her via firstname.lastname@example.org for collaborations or commissions.
Written By: Jenna Turpin