Professor of Art and Architecture Nick Ruth, the Class of 1964 Endowed Professor, is an award-winning painter and printmaker whose work has appeared in more than 100 exhibitions nationally and internationally.
Ruth’s current work focuses on themes related to human communication. Often depicting ever-present aspects of the built environment such as billboards and cell towers, Ruth’s images explore the complicated relationships between our communications capabilities and our capacity for meaningful communication. “My goal is to make beautiful objects that have a tragicomic tension,” says Ruth, “and reward long looking.”
Recently, Ruth was named a semifinalist for the Print Center’s 92nd Annual International Competition, earning the Bomb magazine award. Also in 2018, his print “Looker” was featured in the 31st annual McNeese National Works on Paper Exhibition at McNeese State University. Ruth’s works have been included in exhibitions in China, France, Ireland, Poland, Portugal, and South Korea.
“I am thrilled and honored to have been named as the Class of 1964 Endowed Professor,” Ruth says. “I have an exciting list of new studio projects, collaborations, and curatorial work that I’m working on, and each new experience informs and expands what I can offer to my students.”
An enthusiastic traveler, Ruth has led four semester abroad programs, twice to Rome, Italy and once each to Galway, Ireland and Auckland, New Zealand. He has also worked with student research assistants one-on-one, to help him produce works for exhibition.
Ruth has also worked as a curator, organizing group exhibitions to highlight important themes in contemporary art and often bringing them to the Davis Gallery at HWS. These exhibitions include Signs and Signifiers, exhibited at the 2016 Mid-America Print Council conference, and then at HWS as a project for his Studio Art Senior Seminar class. In 2015, he organized an exhibition called Within/Without, which was exhibited at Unsmoke Gallery and, in 2010, Ruth presented Nice Place to Visit: Printmaking and the Anxious Landscape to our campus community.
After earning his B.A. in studio art from Pomona College, Ruth interned at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, N.Y. Ruth then earned his M.F.A. in Painting from the Meadows School of the Arts at Southern Methodist University. Ruth, joined the HWS faculty in 1995, teaches courses in drawing, painting and printmaking. In 2004, he was recognized with the HWS Faculty Teaching Award for his deep commitment to his students and high degree of teaching excellence; in 2015, he received the faculty prize for scholarship.
See Ruth’s work on his website, http://www.nicholashruth.com, or follow him on Instagram: @nicholashruth.