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Celebrating An Art Lover

This month the Ulrich Underground honors a beloved member of our community, Ruth Ann Martin, in the exhibition, Fill It to the Brim.

Martin is a fixture at openings, Final Fridays and arts programs. After retiring from teaching, she enveloped herself in the local art scene. But she does more than just attend. She is present and engaged. And her unabashed joy and enthusiasm for the arts through several chemotherapy treatments for ovarian cancer is admirable, to say the least.

Martin’s resolve is an inspiration to many, and, for this exhibition, several artists in our community. With the support of Hatman Jack’s hat shop, each artist has created a unique hat for Martin.

On display are hats that are perfectly wearable, like the one made by Trish VanOsdel. Hers is a black woven sun hat trimmed with black upholstery fringe and two silk scarves with tattered ends pulled through the top. The texture is subtle, but would work beautifully with any outfit.

Other hats are statements. Randy Regier’s transforms a woven sun hat into a Kaiser-like helmet, complete with spike. From the spike dangles a gold chain connected to an open heart-shaped locket on the front.  Inside is a picture of Martin’s husband. Regier’s hat symbolizes Martin as a courageous warrior with the love of her life at the center of her fight.  

Fill It to the Brim is a modest, touching exhibition that celebrates the inspirational Martin, and the healing power of art and community.