Folks call me Rubina, Rubi or Rue.
They/them is what I wish I had growing up, but most used is she/her.
Currently I live in Central Wisconsin on 4.5 beautiful acres along the Tomorrow/Waupaca River. This land is the traditional territories of the Anishinabewaki - ᐊᓂᔑᓈᐯᐗᑭ, Menominee, and Očeti Šakówiŋ nations. We (my partner Zay and I) moved to Nelsonville from Portland, Oregon in 2017.
As an artist it can be hard to define what it is we do… Simply put:
I respond to all of life’s adventures creatively.
Over the last few years artistic focus has been creating Tomorrow River Homestead here in Central Wisconsin. This space provides communal lodging, artist residencies, open studio, classes and events along with a garden too large for one person to manage. It has been a collaboration between myself, Rue, and my partner Zay since we purchased it in 2017. This space is a culmination of years experimenting with building place, community and exploring the true meaning of living a creative life. Work on this space has included remodeling and designing six guest rooms, a studio and an apartment, branding and marketing development, and designing feminist driven artist program for locals and traveling artists.
Previous to building this extensive project I managed Prior Day Farm while working with its umbrella organization Water in the Desert in creative pursuits, program development and remodeling of a vintage airstream. This was preceded by the The Pigeons Studio and Gallery a small volunteer run space that had monthly art shows and a local artist consignment shop that I co-created and ran for a year in Portland, Oregon.
Event planning is a complex art of defining the needs of a community, driving an intention and facing inevitable unforeseen challenges with grace and flexibility. Expertise is in perfecting the balance between social hosting while managing each of the details shaping the scene. I feel most comfortable in crafting these social engagements whether they be intimate artist gatherings & presentations to larger placemaking events.
My background in planning was defined while running The Pigeons Studio and Gallery. Each month the space turned over a freshly curated show often in collaboration with Dark Exact Tarot as well as other artists from Portland, Oregon. Each show had a large opening ranging from 30-200 guests coming through. Previous to this, I spent years volunteer coordinating various events for the Experimental Film Festival Portland.
Whether the event be an intimate scene or a large community gathering nothing is out of reach with the right planning.
In high school I studied letterpress at the Armory Center for the Arts in Pasadena, Ca. Years later I was managing the community letterpress shop in Downtown Portland at the Independent Publishing Resource Center. From there I was mentored on the Bindfast 5! glue binder and eventually managed and taught for the binding department. These seven years of volunteer time at the IPRC led to working with various writers and facilitating their works being published.
Most recently M.T. Samuel and I published her collection of poems at the Tomorrow River Homestead studio using our Line-o-scribe to print images for the book. Publications have also been with Grant Gerald Miller, IPRC’s 1001 Literary Journal, as well many of my own self-publications. All works include various forms of printmaking and hand binding.
Since studying web design through Portland Community College Multimedia department I have been building websites through Squarespace, Wordpress and even the seemingly obsolete Dreamweaver. Most work has been developing sites for collaborative projects such as Tomorrow River Homestead and The Pigeons Studio and Gallery, but also the management of the Prior Day Farm. These sites have been created using Squarespace and any further projects will be developed on this platform.
Currently in the works is the complete rebuild of the Tomorrow River Community Charter School expected completion end of August 2019.
Since 2017 I have been running an after school/summer workshop series Creative Practices for students 9+. These students have access to an open studio and guided creative time to explore their independent practice. Drawing from each students curiosities no students’ curriculum direction is the same.
This program inspired from years of working as an educator in Portland Public Schools through Saturday Academy’s afters school/summer/saturday classes program, from teaching bookbinding at the Independent Publishing Resource Center, from studying feminist pedagogy through Portland State University and most recently exploring Waldorf philosophies in the classroom at Tomorrow River Community Charter School. All these experiences combined influence a unique learning experience for each artist student.
Art has been a way of healing, expressing and connecting with others through examining personal and shared experiences. Most work centers on being a survivor of sexual trauma, a child of abandonment and processing the epigenetic trauma of both my maternal and paternal lineage.
I draw from all mediums to find the right conduit to create each body of work. This often includes a combination of print, fiber, sculpture, video, and/or performance.