Exhibit: Seen

Saturday, Oct 3, 2020 at 12:00pm

Firehouse Art Center
667 Fourth Avenue
Longmont, CO 80501

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Barbara Rudlaff presents the culmination of her Summer Residency in her solo exhibit “Seen.” Featuring oil portraits of lesbians in her social circle, each portrait is 12”x12” and depicts the subject in a realist style against a white background, wearing a mask for health and safety in response to our current pandemic. They are spaced in the gallery at least six feet apart, commenting on distance while encouraging us to draw closer. This uniformity in presentation encourages the viewer to focus on those details that make each portrait unique, from an emphasis on the eyes to the subjects’ choice of mask design.

Representation is important, and so Rudlaff has chosen to depict only lesbians experiencing professional achievement, identifying each portrait by name and professional / job title. Accompanying the portratis are written statements from each person about their own experiences since the beginning of the pandemic. The writing is intensely personal - ranging in style from poetry to prose, and adds a dimension of familiarity that mask-wearing contradicts. By painting their faces and eyes in such detail, and sharing their stories in their own words, we feel we know them - we see them as they’re looking right back at us.

Combining a uniformity of presentation with personal stories and the direct gaze, the paintings engage us with each woman’s eyes and personal experience - conveying the imperative to see each other even when we wear masks.

Barbara Rudlaff is a representational painter and art instructor in Lafayette, Colorado. She has a Master’s Degree in Fine Art (Painting) from Colorado State University, in Fort Collins, Colorado and a painting BFA from the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado. She has owned her own portrait painting business for over ten years and has been a painting and drawing instructor both privately and for the Grumbacher Paint company for 6 years. She is the Chair of the Public Art Commission in Lafayette, Colorado, and regularly volunteers for art organizations and festivals as well as Boulder County LGBTQ organizations. Women’s Shelter and the Fort Collins Art Museum. She is represented by Spark Gallery in Denver, CO.

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You can find CDC’s latest coronavirus information at cdc.gov/coronavirus; AARP information and resources are at aarp.org/coronavirus. En español, visite aarp.org/elcoronavirus.