Ruth Crowe was all smiles as the sun began to set on the first evening of the 2017 Ann Arbor Street Art Fair Thursday night. And the Ann Arbor artist had plenty of reasons to be smiling and laughing and enjoying her moment under the setting sun.
There was a mini celebration going on inside tent A261 of the Original Art Fair. Crowe was surrounded by family and friends, who seemed to be enjoying the present and toasting the future. This is Crowe’s first appearance at her local art fair – and getting into this prestigious event (in your first attempt) is reason enough to celebrate.
“There are couple of different processes I’ve learned over the years that I have kind of blended together to get to this point where I am currently at today,” said Crowe, standing in front of some amazing pieces she has created for the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair. “I start with a wood panel, I plaster over the wood panel and add layers of wax. I do my images in photoshop and print them out on a piece of Japanese mulberry paper, it’s like tissue paper. And when you heat up the wax, the mulberry paper melts right into the wax. So it gives the image more texture, a little more translucent, gives it greater depth and hopefully tells a better story of the people in the picture.”
Crowe’s degree is in art education but she never really wanted to teach in a classroom setting. She abandoned her art for over 30 years to pursue a life in the US Army, LA police officer, and collegiate softball coach.
“I finally made my way back to art when I taught myself Photoshop and started my own graphic design business,” she said. “Lucky for me, I sold that business after 11 years and now devote my time and energy to creating my own art.”
Her art is “the thing that keeps me grounded.”
“I love vintage photographs and re-telling the stories of the subjects and the irony that these subjects encounter in life and death,” she says. “The snapshots of a split second that change their lives forever in that instant.”
Crowe said she is proud that the Ann Arbor Street Art Fair is her first chance to exhibit her new work in this type of setting.
“It’s in my backyard but also it’s one of the most prestigious art fairs in the country,” she said. “It’s very tough to get in. I was thrilled to get in and very happy to be here.”
Crowe says her art, “along with myself,” are works in progress.
For more on Crowe’s work, check out www.ruthcroweartist.com