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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Pittsburgh City Paper Talks Black And White


The Pittsburgh City Paper writes about the upcoming exhibition at Frame House/Jask Gallery in Lawrencevile. The link is provided below.

*http://www.pghcitypaper.com/ProgramNotes/archives/2015/03/18/associated-artists-show-opens-friday*


Nancy McNary Smith's porcelain sculpture "Fruit and Veggies," part of "Black & White"
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Thursday, March 19, 2015

Black And White @ Frame House Jask Gallery


I am happy to be a part of  The Associated Artists of Pittsburgh's Black & White Exhibition at Lawrenceville’s Framehouse/Jask Gallery.
The show was juried by Jeff Jarzynka, an independent creative director and consultant with a background in design and marketing.
The artists featured include Ruthanne Bauerle, Richard Claraval, Rae Gold, Paula Garrick Klein, Mark Panza, Christopher Ruane and Bob Ziller. Stop down for the opening, Friday March 20th from 6-9pm.


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Thursday, March 19, 2015

"The Nativity," People's Choice Winner


This post is a bit late but I wanted to thank everyone who took the time to vote for my work, The Nativity  at The National Catholic Arts Exhibition. It's an honor to win an award in this way. The positive reviews by so many on a piece that is so modern makes me hopeful about the future of Sacred Art.  


Photo of the exhibition courtesy of Jordan Hainsey
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Monday, November 10, 2014

The Huffington Post


My recent work Rebuild My Church is one of several pieces featured in the Huffington Post's coverage of the National Catholic Arts Exhibition. The link is provided below.

*http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/11/09/st-vincent-catholic-art-exhibition_n_6109008.html?utm_hp_ref=religion*





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Friday, November 7, 2014

The Washington Post Covers Exhibition


Two of my works are mentioned in The Washington Post's article on The National Catholic Arts Exhibition. The link is provided below along with another link to Religion News Service's feature as well.



*http://www.washingtonpost.com/national/religion/exhibit-of-sacred-catholic-art-embraces-a-contemporary-vision/2014/11/04/ba308af0-6445-11e4-ab86-46000e1d0035_story.html*

* http://archives.religionnews.com/multimedia/photos/rns-catholic-art-c*

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Friday, November 7, 2014

Rebuild My Church Receives Honorable Mention Award


I am happy to say that my image Rebuild My Church received an Honorable Mention at The National Catholic Arts Exhibition. With such a vast selection of beautiful works in all kinds of media, the exhibition was beautiful to say the least. The show wasn't the same without late Curator Brother Nathan Cochran, O.S.B. but his presence and legacy were deeply felt. Ann Holmes, Jordan Hainsey and everyone at St. Vincent really came together and put on an amazing exhibition in the face of such a sudden tragedy. To explore the work in more detail please use the link below.
* http://www.christopherruane.com/Set/Sacred-Art-Modern-World/Rebuild-My-Church*




Photos of the exhibition courtesy of Jordan Hainsey

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Friday, October 24, 2014

The Nativity Chosen For National Catholic Arts Exhibition


After four years of working on and off, my image The Nativity is finally completed. From start to finish, many things have changed during the creation of this piece. Those who are familiar with my work may notice that this piece is a record of the progression of my style over the past four years. The image consists of over 70 GB of information, thousands of photographic layers each shot individually, and is the largest composite I have ever created. The image was made with the intent to be printed very large scale so that all of the details could engulf you at once evoking an overwhelming feeling of spiritual complexity.  Thankfully, I am proud to say that the work has been chosen for its introduction at this year's National Catholic Arts Exhibition juried by Janet McKenzie.

Many of my works are made to be explored on the computer screen almost making one feel like a detective searching for clues, however this image must be seen in its final state to be fully appreciated. Please stop by St Vincent Gallery and check out my two works Oct. 28th-Dec. 7th with an opening reception this Sunday, Oct. 26th, 1-4 p.m.

Thank you to all who participated in this project! The L.E. Model copies will be released shortly.
To explore the work in more detail please use the link provided and read the artist statement below.

* http://www.christopherruane.com/Set/Sacred-Art-Modern-World/The-Nativity*



Artist Statement:

The image The Nativity is part of an ongoing series of modern interpretations of Biblical stories, events, and sacred legends.  

Throughout history thousands of artists have attempted to recreate the birth of Christ in many different media. Portraying the moment the world received the greatest gift humanity has ever known is by no means an easy task. For me the most challenging obstacle visually in such an undertaking lies in the balance of Christ's humble beginnings and the grandeur of this transcendent moment. With respect to traditional interpretations as well as their symbolism and close inspection of scripture, this modern depiction attempts to recreate this moment as if it occurred in our time. In meditation of the scripture and the current state of the world, I believe that although the imagery may be updated, the meaning of every aspect of the story remains the same. The same struggles of man still apply and the solution to our downfall remains the same and readily available to all who wish to receive it. The shepherds still hold witness, the wise men still present gifts, and Christ has still come to save us from ourselves. Close inspection of the image will continue to reveal symbolism and purpose. There is no element in the scene that has not been heavily considered. For example the placement of Christ is central in location above the two pillars. Upon close inspection you will find the ten commandments inscribed on the pillars, establishing the fact that Christ brings a new understanding to the law, fulfilling their meaning. The placement of Joseph separated from Mary comments on her purity and Virgin birth. But perhaps the most intriguing is the expression and body language of this Blessed Mother. Attempting to show her as a mother first, somewhat at odds with the viewer. She is portrayed as extremely guarded, almost pulling Jesus away, as if she knows the fate of her beloved Son in a world that cannot fully accept him. Despite her sadness she shows her perfect understanding and submits to the will of God fulfilling her role in salvation and bringing forth the light of the world.
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Friday, October 24, 2014

Rebuild My Church Chosen For Nationwide Catholic Arts Exhibition


My two newest Faith based works have been chosen by Juror Janet McKenzie for inclusion in The 5th Nationwide Catholic Arts Exhibition. In this blog entry I will speak in detail about my image Rebuild My Church. Info on The Nativity will follow.

When I had the idea for the image Rebuild My Church, I can remember sitting in my home watching television when a news story came on about hundreds of church closings. I had seen stories similar to this in past years and I decided to address the issue through visual means. I wondered if I could find a church that was actually in need of repair and create an image hoping to inspire someone to purchase or rebuild just one church.

I began looking for churches in need of repair in the Pittsburgh area that could work for such an image. My Google search came up with one cathedral in the area. The owner or pastor there left me a rather brief response and was less than interested. I continued to search and eventually found the former Our Lady Help Of Christians Church in Larimer.  It took days and some luck to find the owner of the property which had now become Heavenly Vision Ministries. Reverend Armenia Johnson, a very kind woman gave me the go ahead to photograph her church. After my visit and some small adventures I became strangely connected with the location but very saddened by the fact that it might be a lost cause, as the church is quite dilapidated. The stained glass windows, doors, and pews were smashed and destroyed. When asking Reverend Johnson how this happened, she stated that the attitude of the community had sadly just changed. A place of worship, once the heart of the community was now almost forgotten.

I always look for God's plan when creating these works and humbly believe that the work in some small way is a part of it.  After seeing the church in such a heartbroken state, I could not see the plan for this beautiful and once vibrant place.  Weeks later, I came to realize coincidentally that my mother who passed away several years ago had been baptized in that very church as an infant. Realizing this, the title of the piece almost became words from my mother's mouth telling me to push the image further. To spread and share the image with as many people as possible. The fate of Our Lady Help Of Christians Church in Larimer is still undecided, however some have already used the image as a rallying cry to save other churches in the state of Pennsylvania. What if the purpose of the project was not to rebuild Our Lady Help Of Christians but to have it inspire the rebuilding of hundreds of other churches?

In the recent months Pittsburgh landed a $30 million dollar grant to rebuild Larimer. Hopefully this piece of history will not be overlooked. To explore the work in more detail please use the link provided and read the artist statement below.

* http://www.christopherruane.com/Set/Sacred-Art-Modern-World/Rebuild-My-Church*



Artist Statement:

The image Rebuild My Church is a modern interpretation of one of the miracles experienced by St. Francis. During a pilgrimage to Rome, Francis had a mystical vision of Jesus Christ in a dilapidated church, just outside of Assisi. The icon of a crucified Christ came alive and said to him, ”Francis go and repair my house, which as you can see, is falling into ruin”.

God has a way of providing for us exactly what we need and again we find ourselves in need of a guiding light. My image brings the tale of St. Francis to a contemporary time inundated with countless churches closing and others crumbling due to a lack of attendance and faith. We are once again in need of rebuilding.

You view the story in our lifetime. St. Francis, now depicted as Pope Francis, prays to an animated crucifix in the destroyed Our Lady Help of Christians Church (Heavenly Vision Ministries) in the Larimer neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Once a place of worship, it is now a symbol of the hardship and neglect the church and community have undergone in recent years. Upon close inspection of the image, you find symbolism in the architecture and environment. The modern buildings peering in through the crumbling rooftop represent the attitude of the modern world, superseding the ideals of our sacred traditions. The wolf, which is another symbol of St. Francis, represents the fact that the modern Francis has not yet tamed the problems of our contemporary church. You will also see in the architecture three pillars on the left side and one larger pillar on the right. The three pillars are leaning and breaking, while the largest pillar supporting a fisherman’s net bears the weight of the structure; in Pope Innocent III’s mystical dream, Francis physically held up the church. Symbolically, the fate of the church is now resting on Pope Francis. The hammers at Christ’s feet, which are all different, represent the fact that we cannot rely on one man to repair all of the problems. We must all pick up our hammers and become carpenters of faith.

In the image, you are peering into the church; through all the controversy and tribulations, people are still interested and actively seeking truth. As the vines are reaching for the light, so too are the disenchanted, uncertain, and skeptical. We are all peering through and seeking the Light, Christ.





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Great job Chris, God Bless: Great job Chris! God bless, Mr. O
Tom Aul: Congrats Chris!   My Grandfather worshiped there as one of the many churches in that area.  He lived on a street off of Larimer Ave which  no longer  exists.  But his home church St. Peter & Paul on Larimer Ave. is a historic landmark that has fallen terribly is disrepair.   In fact I'm not sure if it is still standing.
Wednesday, September 17, 2014

From Virtual To Actual




The Denial Of Peter and Doubting Thomas are on display at Viridian Artists, a contemporary art gallery located in New York in the Chelsea region of Manhattan. The two works were chosen for the curated exhibition From Virtual To Actual 3. Here is what curator Vernita Nemec had to say about the exhibition, "Each of the 13 artists in this diverse exhibition has her or his own personal obsession that serves as the starting point of their search to transform their inner investigations into reality. The results of transforming these realities into art, remains open to each viewer's interpretation and becomes another translation of the virtual into the actual. The art in this exhibit takes many unique forms from the knitted “Knots” of Joanne Kidd's artist book and the mixed media wall sculpture “Batter Up” of Aimee Hertog to a wide variety of photographic approaches. Joshua Greenberg explores abstraction, Marla Hoffman reflections, Srividya Kannan Ramachandran poetry, Christopher Ruane religion and Marcia Lloyd autobiography." If you are in the Manhattan area be sure to stop by the show through September 27th.

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Monday, September 1, 2014

Image Featured In Dutch Magazine


My image The Good Samaritan is featured in the August 2014 issue of the Dutch magazine Woord & Dienst. I am very proud to share my image with people across the globe and I hope that they find my modern interpretation of the biblical story as meaningful and relevant as people in the U.S.




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