Celebrating Maryruth Ginn and Her Artwork” will open on First Friday, 5 to 9 p.m. April 3 in the main gallery at The Studios on Sheridan. The exhibit will continue through April 18. Gallery hours are noon to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday, with a reception from 6 to 9 p.m. April 18.
Ginn, 82, died March 12 from injuries suffered during a fall on the front steps of her Peoria home a few days earlier. A well-known artist and art educator who taught for many years at Central Junior High School in East Peoria, Ginn’s passing was a terrible shock for her family and friends.
“She was always so vibrant and vivacious that all of us thought she would have at least another good 10 years left,” said long-time friend and fellow artist Judith Koren-Shanahan. “She was not what you think of when you think of an 80-year-old woman.”
Ginn was always trying something new. Just a few years ago she took a video class at Illinois Central College and proceeded to do videos of her friends and their artwork, said printmaker Cathie Crawford, another long-time friend. “I was one of the lucky ones — she made a wonderful YouTube video of my work,” she said.
Ginn also experimented with different photographic techniques. Some of these images will be for sale at her retrospective, said Dana Baldwin, a fiber artist who shared a studio with Ginn at Studios on Sheridan.
“Some of the photographs were created recently using a specialized technique on beautiful metallic ‘paper,’ ” said Baldwin.
There will also be paintings, etchings, ceramics, paper sculpture, and handmade books in the exhibit, said Baldwin. Among the ceramics is a shoe series, a collection of jointed puppets, and a recent series of transvestites. There is also a colorful series called “The Main Street People,” sculptures inspired by people Ginn saw while walking down Main Street.
“She included herself and one of her dogs in this group,” said Baldwin. “It’s a real commentary on Main Street life over the years.”
The work is all colorful, quirky and fun, a reflection of Ginn’s creativity and humor.
“There will also be a life-size sculpture of her wearing a formal dress and waltzing with one of her dogs,” said Baldwin. “They look like they’re dancing at the prom.”
Baldwin is still selling Ginn’s work at the studio they shared. Knitted capelets, neck pieces, scarves, hats and purses are available.