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Ruth Mikos

June 30, 2021 11:00 am - November 28, 2021 4:00 pm

Title: Bottle
Dimensions: 23.75 x 35.5”
Media: Oil on Cradled Wood Panel
Date: 2020

Ruth Mikos: Building collections to connect

June 30th – November 28, 2021, Entry Gallery & Corridor

Online Artist Talk | October 28th on Zoom at 6pm

Ruth Mikos is a contemporary painter who lives and works in Rochester, Minnesota. Her thought-provoking paintings pay homage to times gone by and the intangible nature of memory. Her distinctive personal style emits joy, nostalgia and longing for a simpler time.

An assortment of commonplace, often-discarded objects from the past are brought to life through striking compositions and contrasting, yet harmonizing color combinations.

The 9th of 10 children, Mikos was immersed in a world of imagination at a young age. Her mother introduced her to enticing worlds of creativity: the joy of a good story; sewing doll clothes; building dollhouse miniatures; music; travel; Broadway shows; quilting and antiquing, which her mother lovingly referred to as “junking”.

Her influences include her mother, Theodor Geisel, Beverly Cleary, Joel-Peter Witkin, Cindy Sherman, Doug and Mike Starn, Christian Boltanski, and Rebecca Haines. She also had the good fortune to work with the original Blue Man Group in New York City in the early 90’s.

Mikos earned a Bachelor of Arts in Photography from the University of Northern Iowa. After college, she relocated to Brooklyn, NY where she earned a Master of Fine Arts from Pratt Institute. She is also a recipient of the Emerging Artist Grant from Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council.

Exhibition Statement
I am a collector.

Ever since I was little I have been “junking”. This is the term my mom would use when she would pack my younger brother and I into the car at dawn, with our pillows and blankets, to go hunt for treasures at some obscure converted school house, deserted barn, small town store, or antique show. We would spend hours wandering rows of old things that positively radiated mystery and intrigue.

Building on these childhood memories, this exhibition explores why something that is disposable to one person can be indispensable to another.

What is the connection between the collector and the collection? While interviewing collectors, a common theme emerged: Connection. Connection to the past, to a time they wanted to preserve, and to people who have touched their lives. These collections are not mere objects. They are portals to another place, another time; they are a glimpse into a life story.


This activity is made possible by the voters of Minnesota through a grant from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council thanks to a legislative appropriation from the arts & cultural heritage fund.

The ROOTED program at Rochester Art Center is open to artists living and working in the eleven counties surrounding Rochester and showcases the most innovative and talented artists from the region. For artists who have received artist grants from the Southeastern Minnesota Arts Council (SEMAC), Rochester Art Center provides gallery space to showcase the art by the grantee. Art Center curatorial staff provides grant application support, studio visits and exhibition space, but do not select the artists, who are chosen by SEMAC jury. ROOTED exemplifies the commitment of RAC to be a central hub for art made in Southeastern Minnesota.


June 30, 2021 11:00 am
November 28, 2021 4:00 pm
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30 Civic Center Drive SE, STE 120
Rochester, MN 55904