News release
Public Information Office  SLU 10880   Hammond, LA 70402   phone: 985-549-2341   fax: 985-549-2061 Spring 2004 news releases Public Information home News archive

Contact: Christina Chapple
Date: 4/20/04
      HAMMOND -- “Louisiana Landscapes,” an exhibit of works by the late Dennis James Ruiz, a 1975 Southeastern Louisiana University graduate, will be on display April 21-May 12 at the university’s Sims Memorial Library.
      The exhibit will open with a reception at the library from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 21. 
      Ruiz, a New Orleans native, is described as having a natural artistic talent, which he nurtured from an early age, apprenticing as a teenager with landscape artist John Campbell. As a  Southeastern student, however, he was also known for his involvement with the theater program, where he performed, designed, directed and assisted with numerous productions. 
      In between shows and on weekends, however, Ruiz continued his work as an artist, painting portraits in Jackson Square and exhibiting his work throughout the south. He was also selected as the artist for several of the popular Ponchatoula Strawberry Festival posters.
      In 1976, Ruiz opened his own studio in New Orleans, where he continued to create and teach. When he was diagnosed with cancer in 1979, he moved to a farm in the forests of northern Louisiana to live, paint and write at a slower pace.  
      His experience with catastrophic illness changed the scope of Ruiz’s art, and he began to create wood wall reliefs and sculpture. He also continued to travel, teach, lecture, paint and exhibit new works, and to work in theater and television productions. Until his death in 1990, he exhibited throughout the United States and kept a studio in Louisiana. 
      Library hours are 7:30 a.m.-11 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 7:30 a.m.- 4:30 p.m., Friday; 9 a.m.-4 p.m., Saturday; and 2-11 p.m., Sunday. 
      For additional information about “Louisiana Landscapes,” contact the Southeastern visual arts department and Gallery Director Dale Newkirk, 985-549-2193.