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February Issue 2004

Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, SC, Offers Works by Ginny Ruffner

The exhibition, Creativity: The Flowering Tornado, featuring an installation by Ginny Ruffner will be on view at the Columbia Museum of Art in Columbia, SC, from Feb. 6 through Apr. 11, 2004.

Seattle artist Ginny Ruffner's works of art have graced the covers of art publications and have been included in major exhibitions in galleries and art museums in America, Europe and Japan. This exhibition includes the artist's finest lamp-worked glass objects and bronze sculptures. These pieces are drawn from Ruffner's private collection and provide a retrospective of her career.

Ruffner uses glass and sculpture to communicate her dreams, desires, frustrations, and fantasies. Frames incorporating sculptural elements such as chains, flowers, bear traps, hearts and arrows, along with the focal point - a large tornado with wings - relate to a different facet of the creative process. The tornado with wings may refer to the wellspring of creative thought, while the frame bound in chains cautions the viewer to remain aware of the picture.

Ruffner graduated from the University of Georgia with a degree in painting and drawing in 1975. By 1985 she had moved to Seattle and was teaching at the Pilchuck School of Glass. By 1991, at age 39, Ruffner was on the board of the Seattle Arts Commission and Pilchuck School and was president of the Glass Art Society.

In Dec. 1991, Ruffner was involved in a life-altering traffic accident, which left her in a coma for five weeks. When she awoke her identity had been erased, and she had to re-learn everything from her favorite color to who she was as an artist. Amazingly, she returned to her art only seven months after the accident that nearly killed her. With the aid of her team she continued to create her painted flamework sculptures but with themes that reflect the unexpected turn that her life has taken. Continuing to see her sculptures as canvases for her thoughts, her work has a joyous, narrative quality that continues to capture the attention of art critics and collectors alike. Her work is an unabashed celebration of life that invites viewers to celebrate with her.

This exhibition has been organized by the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts, and is sponsored by The Jon and Mary Shirley Foundation, Dr. Berry L. Wilson, Corina M. Gauntt, The Bagley Wright Family Foundation, and Southern Guaranty Insurance Company.

Many related programs will be offered in conjunction with this exhibition, call the museum for further information, check our SC Institutional Gallery listings, call the museum at 803/799-2810 or on the web at (www.columbiamuseum.org).

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