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Ruth Sjostrom’s art on display at Toledo Library

January 17, 2013
1st Person By Ruth Sjostrom , Toledo Chronicle, Tama News-Herald

Age 7, November: Students are asked to look at a small photo of a turkey, placed on the chalkboard by their second grade teacher and, as all the other kids drew turkeys with rainbow tail fans, I blended crayon colors to come up with colors as close to true turkey as my limited range of colors would allow.

When I saw the difference between my drawing and the drawings of my peers, I decided "I am an artist."

I obtained my BA and, 5 years later, my NIA, from the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls. I took additional coursework, in ceramics at Pioneer Community College in Arizona and completed studies in the field of Substance Abuse and Treatment, as well.

Article Photos

An intricate necklace created by artist Ruth Sjostrom is among her art works on display at the Toledo Public Library through February.
Photos/Toledo Public Library

I am in my l4th year at South Tama High School, and my 2nd year at South Tama Middle School, teaching art.

I am not entirely new to the area, however. For 4 years, I taught art at the Juvenile Home prior to relocating to Santa Fe, N.M. in 1981.

I started my adult career in art as a painter and still love that medium. In my last year of undergraduate work, I took a general crafts course which was primarily a course in weaving.

Fact Box

Chronicle ? It Out:

WHAT:?Display of mixed media artist Ruth Sjostrom's work

WHEN:?Now through February


11 a.m.- 7 p. .m.

Fri 11 a.m.- 5 p.m.

Sat. 9 a.m.- noon

WHERE:Toledo Public Library, 205 E. High St.

Much to my surprise, I found myself intrigued with the possibilities of this craft as a means of creating relief wall sculpture. When, during my 4 years teaching art at Iowa State Juvenile Home, I had the opportunity to hire, as an artist in residence, a beadworker. I learned a new craft.

Beadwork became a major means of earning my living during nearly two decades in New Mexico and Arizona. Learning to weave fiber and beads marked the point when I ceased to be primarily a painter.

Now, I think of myself as a mixed media artist as I often include beads and other materials in my paintings as well as most of my 3D work.

Because of spacial limitations, I have not included paintings in this show.

While some of my work, using the techniques and materials of the world of crafts. are functional, most of my work tends to exist in a place that is better defined as fine art, despite my extensive use of the materials and techniques associated with the craft world of form that functions in some clear, practical way.

I appreciate this opportunity to show my work.



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