Program offered by The Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium

Join The Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium (FLM&A) in Branchport from 9:30 to noon June 2, for a family-friendly presentation and color observation called “Explore the Color Around You” led by artist Kari Ganoung Ruiz.

Kari’s presentation will cover historic and current artists who work and live in the Finger Lakes Region, and will explain why this area inspires her paintings. She will then lead a walk around the Finger Lakes Museum’s 29-acre campus for an exercise in color observation. Participants will receive a painter’s mat board “viewfinder” and a printed color wheel. Punch out the colors and attach them to the viewfinder card, creating the palette of the colors just experienced outside! Walk away with a different view of the colors that surround us in nature, and a painter’s “viewfinder” tool to help see color and composition going forward.

Kari was raised at the edge of The Finger Lakes National Forest in Central New York State, which set the stage for her deep connection to the natural landscape. After earning her Bachelor of Science in Fine Art from Ashland University in Ohio, she worked as a decorative painter, faux finisher, and occasional muralist. She and her husband, Diego Ruiz, opened a picture framing studio featuring fine art and gifts in 2007, and she began making studio paintings soon after. An encouraging local response to her work prompted more space at the boutique to be used to display paintings, and eventually the move to a much larger location. 

Due to the increased visibility of the new gallery, the draw on their time became much greater and began to cut into studio hours. At this time, Kari began to focus on plein air work; feeling the need to learn about light and shadow directly from the natural world. Kari and Diego have since moved back out to the Finger Lakes countryside of Interlaken, where open fields, forests, lakes, streams, and farms can continue to inspire their work. Kari finds that painting outdoors directly from life allows her to represent the essence of a scene. Kari is an associate member of the Oil Painters Of America, the New York Plein Air Painters, and the Ohio Plein Air Society. Her works are held in public and private collections throughout the U.S.

The staff of the FLM&A first met Kari in June 2017 when she participated in the plein air-painting program led by Mark Stash, editor of Life in the Finger Lakes magazine and FLM&A Board Trustee.

“Kari was an integral part of a plein air art activity at the Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium last year,” says Mark. “Her talent in capturing the light and the subtle beauty of the surrounding Finger Lakes landscape is special and insightful. We are looking forward to learn from such a fresh and inspiring artist this year.”

The mission of the FLM&A is to inspire appreciation and stewardship of the cultural heritage and ecological evolution of the vast Finger Lakes Region.  Located in the hamlet of Branchport, on the northwest fork of Keuka Lake, the FLM&A’s 29-acre site encompasses a 16-acre wetland/preserve—known as the Townsend-Grady Wildlife Preserve—and a 13-acre Campus that includes a 17,000 square foot building currently under phased renovation. Since its inception in 2008, the FLM&A has consistently fulfilled its mission through programs and outreach, while working to establish a permanent location to provide meaningful experiences and exhibits. Each summer the FLM&A offers a full calendar of public programs that include community and evening paddles, yoga, wildlife photography classes, timber-frame workshops, woods walks, bird identification walks, and more! The FLM&A staff is thrilled to add “Explore the Color Around You” led by Kari Ganoung Ruiz to the list of programs this summer.

The registration cost for “Explore the Color Around You” is $10/person or $20/family, which covers instruction, a viewfinder, and a color wheel. To sign up for this unique experience, and for more details, please visit www.FingerLakesMuseum.org. Learn more about Kari by visiting her website at http://kariganoungruiz.com.

Be there

What: Explore the Color Around You

When: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. June 2

Where: Finger Lakes Museum & Aquarium, Branchport

Cost: $10 pp/$20 family