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Exuberant Earth – Ceramics by Ruth Rippon

On October 29, 2017, the Crocker Art Museum will open a wide-ranging exhibition of ceramics by Ruth Rippon, as the Museum honors the vanguard ceramist and teacher who has been integral in shaping the Northern California ceramics tradition. Featuring 90 pieces from the 1950s through the 1990s, Exuberant Earth: Ceramics by Ruth Rippon collectively demonstrates the breadth of the 90-year-old artist’s prolific and influential career.

A study in Rippon’s extensive repertoire of techniques, Exuberant Earth: Ceramics by Ruth Rippon reveals the artist’s range in sgraffito, relief modeling, majolica, porcelain, and sculpture. Rippon’s earlier works show the artist’s connection to spiritual themes, Biblical tales, mythological beings, and every day personal interactions. Her innate talent for storytelling is especially evident in her figural groupings, art history tableaux, and Pop Art-inspired objects. Altogether, her work testifies to the creative surge in ceramics that occurred during the 1960s and 70s, and which endures today.

Featuring small examples of her figurative work, the exhibition gives a nod to the large-scaled figures of women known as Lollies, short for “Little Old Ladies,” which became a focus in the latter years of Rippon’s career and are displayed in public spaces throughout the greater Sacramento area. The exhibition also explores Rippon’s responses to contemporary events, developments in art, and the work of her regional colleagues.

Exuberant Earth will be accompanied by a 160-page, full-color catalogue with an introduction by Kristina Gilmore and an essay by Jo Lauria.

This exhibition and its catalogue are made possible through generous support from Creative Arts League Sacramento (CALS), an organization co-founded by ten women in 1952 to bring outstanding works of local contemporary artists to the community. Ruth Rippon joined CALS in 1957 and, 60 years later, she is still a prominent member of the organization.


Dates: October 29, 2017 – February 4, 2018
Crocker Art Museum
216 O Street
Sacramento, CA 95814


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