Ruth Weisberg works primarily in painting, drawing, printmaking and large-scale installations. Artist and professor, she is the former Dean of Fine Arts at the University of Southern California since 1995. Ruth Weisberg is represented by Jack Rutberg Fine Arts in Los Angeles. Weisberg is well known for her paintings reflecting upon the cycle of life; the continuity of generations. The artist also has long held interests in preservation, extinction and survival. Since her arrival in Los Angeles in 1969, Ruth Weisberg has been a formidable influence and mentor to decades of artists in this city and beyond. Her first major survey in Los Angeles was in 1979 at the Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery. She was the first artist exhibited at The Women’s Building (Judy Chicago was simultaneously presented with a solo exhibition to inaugurate that venue). With more than 80 solo exhibitions and nearly 200 group exhibitions internationally, Weisberg is the first living painter to have been afforded a solo exhibition at the Norton Simon Museum of Art in 2008-2009. Weisberg also holds that distinction at The Huntington Library. Ruth Weisberg has executed many ambitious large-scale works, including the 94-foot mixed-media painting “The Scroll,” which was exhibited at the Skirball Cultural Center. She painted the 29-foot mural “New Beginnings: One Hundred Years of Jewish Immigration” as part of a commission from the UJA Federation. The mural was installed in the headquarters’ entrance in New York City. Ruth Weisberg’s work is included in the permanent collections of over 60 museums, including the Metropolitan Museum, National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., Whitney Museum of American Art, Portland Art Museum, Los Angeles County Museum of Art, Getty Research Institute, Norton Simon Museum, Art Institute of Chicago, Detroit Institute of Arts, Biblioteque Nationale in Paris, and the Instituto Nationale per la Grafica in Rome, among many others.
The content of my work is inspired by the relevance of cross cultural and historical story and myth and how it is relevant in today’s world. I’m interested in how we rely on these stories to make sense of our lives and the light in which we view the world’s problems. As I research elements that find their way into my work what holds my interest is how they are timeless ideas that are also universal. I aspire to push the boundaries of my medium. Woodcut is a constant element in my work, as I love the carving, feel and expressive quality of the wood. It is a connection to the earth and to the history of communication. Each new block carries forth from the blocks before but something new is added to the story, marking my woodblock figures in the way we tattoo our bodies.
Donna Day Westerman grew up in Ontario and Michigan, where she attended the Detroit Institute of Arts and Crafts (now the Center for Creative Studies) and the University of Michigan. She began her professional career at the age of 14 when she produced greeting cards for National Artcrafts. In 1960 she moved with her family to Boston, where she attended the Boston Museum School. After a year in Spain and England, where she attended London Polytechnic, she returned to the family home in Tustin, California, and enrolled in the masters program at Otis Art Institute. She majored in painting and printmaking and graduated summa cum laude in 1966. She is now a professor emeritus, retired after 32 years at Orange Coast College, where she served as department chair for 20 years and taught printmaking, painting, experimental painting, illustration, life drawing, color and design, computer graphics, set design and humanities.In 1979 she started the first computer graphics department in the nation to be housed within a fine arts division. She developed its curriculum and served as its director for 11 years. During this time she was considered one of the early pioneers in the field and served as a consultant and appeared as a speaker at numerous conferences and events. She won many honors and awards for her efforts, including the “Innovator of the Year” award for both the college and the district. She has been the subject of a number of videos and articles of artists in Southern California and has appeared on CBS TV as the subject of a 15 minute interview. Donna is past president of the Los Angeles Printmaking Society (LAPS), has served as editor of Newsprint, the journal of LAPS, and as Chair of the 18th National Printmaking Exhibition held in Pasadena in the fall of 2006. In 2009 she curated a major exhibition of large scale prints held at the Frank M. Doyle Arts Pavilion at Orange Coast College.Recently she has moved to the Bay area where she is an artist-in-residence at Kala Art Institute in Berkeley and also works out of her studio in the warehouse district of Oakland, near Jack London Square. She is currently developing a new body of work based on natural elements.