Finding Heart

Photographs by Rick Ruggles | Poems by Steve Godwin

January 13, 2012 to February 15, 2012

Rick Ruggles takes our typical ways of expressing love in new directions, creating a language that shares and explores its many unique and ever changing forms. He shows it like it is, never manipulating or adjusting what he photographs. His work is beautiful and tender, unusual, and at times bizarre and even tough.

Rick began his unique photographic journey in 2001 with a photo of a heart-shaped pothole. Intrigued by the shape, he photographed other “found heart” images nearby: graffiti on a railroad overpass, a curbside tuft of grass, and a rock in a nearby path.  Compliments he received on the series of four images inspired him to collect more. His collection now numbers in the thousands, and Rick uses his online store to share these images and the jewelry he crafts with a larger audience.

Hundreds of Rick’s photographs have been used in collections on posters, greeting cards, calendars, fridge magnets and bookmarks. Several national publishers also license the use of Rick’s images in the form of notecards, books, calendars, and cellphone wallpaper.  This show marks the introduction of “stand-alone” images.

Through photography and jewelry Rick creates work that embraces, and at the same time, breaks free from our usual notions of love.

The poetry by Steve Godwin is built loosely on the theme of the heart, and imaginatively responds to the images, playing on visual metaphor and exploring narrative possibilities.

About the Artist
Rick Ruggles was born in Ohio and studied geology at Oberlin College. While at Oberlin he inherited his grandmother’s jewelry tools and began making jewelry as a hobby. Rick’s entrepreneurial spirit and love of creating led him to start a home construction business in Atlanta. He worked for 12 years designing and building energy-efficient houses and teaching home-building courses, before moving full time into jewelry and found heart photography.

Rick Ruggles is an award-winning jeweler and metalsmith and has exhibited at the Smithsonian Craft Show; SOFA NYC; Buyer’s Market of American Crafts, New York International Gift Fair and National Museum of Women in the Arts gift shop in Washington, DC.  He has also sold his work in Bergdorf Goodman; Marshall Fields and Aaron Faber Gallery, NY as well as is in national catalogs including Red Envelope, Isabella, Signals and Uncommon Goods.  Rick has also been featured in USA Today, The Springfield Union News, Daily Hampshire Gazette, and Parade Magazine.

Juliana Molina