YADKINVILLE — “Drawn to Animals,” an exhibit of whimsical and colorful paintings of creatures large and small by Winston-Salem’s Fowler Ruffin opens Sept. 4, and runs through the end of October in the Welborn Gallery at the Yadkin Cultural Arts Center. A reception for the artist will be held at 6 p.m. The public is invited.
Ruffin has always loved animals of all sorts, and after providing a home for multiple strays and unwanted creatures, she started painting them. She is also realizing her childhood dreams of living beside animals as she did when growing up near The Children’s Home when it was a working farm.
There’s plenty of chickens, horses, goats, ducks, turkeys and a few pot-bellied pigs to play with at Pinch Me Acres, Fowler’s home just outside the city, and plenty of rescue-animal material for her expressive, boldly colored acrylics of numerous species, including dogs and frogs, sleepy sheep and critters with attitude.
The heartbeat of an artist resonates with philanthropy. And such is the case with Ruffin. In 2011, the artist co-founded Project Pearl to help increase adoptions at the Forsyth County Animal Shelter. Working with local photographers Ruffin and Melissa Ball founded Project Pearl to broaden awareness and lower the euthanasia rate of adoptable animals in Forsyth County. During her years of volunteerism at the Children’s Home Farm Ruffin, mother of twin sons and a daughter, admits she witnessed many miracles in the interaction between animals and children.
Ruffin said, “I have always been intrigued by the glorious colors in nature and the unique qualities of each animal. It’s fascinating to watch different species interacting together. The mysteries of instinct and the diversity of the natural defenses each animal possesses prove sheer brilliance and that God certainly has a great sense of humor! In my paintings I try to celebrate the curiosity of nature with a vivid splash of color.”
A graduate of Meredith College with a degree in art, Ruffin worked as a graphic designer before she married John Ruffin, executive vice-president of Meridian Realty Group.
The Yadkin Cultural Arts Center is located at 226 E. Main St., Yadkinville. Contact www.yadkinarts.org or call 336-679-2941 for information about the bi-monthly exhibits, live performances in the Willingham Theater and classes offered to the public by resident artists.