Artist Feature

The Artist Ellen Rutt at work with her back turned to the camera
Known for her bold, energetic mixed-media paintings, murals, and wearables, local artist Ellen Rutt invites participants to help her create an installation of shapes and colors.

Rutt graduated from the University of Michigan with a BFA, and then immersed herself in Detroit’s creative culture. Inner State Gallery in Detroit hosted her first solo show, and her work has been exhibited across the country.

Ahead of her art-making demonstrations at the DIA on July 21 & 22, Rutt sat down and answered a few questions for us about her art and what we should expect.


DIA: When did you first know you wanted to be an artist?

ER: When I learned that artists existed!

DIA: How would you describe your art to others?

ER: Performance-painting-color-block-storytelling.

DIA: Why do you make art?

ER: Because I don’t know how to live without it.

DIA: What piece of the DIA’s collection stands out to you?

ER: It will have to be a three-way tie between Frank Stella, Mickalene Thomas & Charles McGee.

DIA: What can visitors to your artist demonstration look forward to?

ER: On saturday we’re going to work together to create a mural using large shape stickers. Everyone is welcome to cut out their own shapes, or choose from ones that I’ve brought! On Sunday we will be decorating t-shirts with iron-on shapes. I highly recommend that everyone brings an extra shirt to add shapes to, but if they forget we’ll have some extras, just in case.

DIA: What’s your favorite place to go in Detroit?

ER: The Lincoln Street Art Park at dawn.


Categories:  Artist Features