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Ruth Oseid Johnson


Ruth Oseid Johnson, an oil painter and printmaker with Minnesota roots, has settled back in the state after years spent living and working in California and Arizona. In her work, she focuses on the effects of light in interior settings and in landscapes. The artist is also concerned with depicting interactions between people and their environment.


Ruth earned a BA in art education from the University of Minnesota and pursued post-graduate and private study in the ensuing years. The artist states, “I have been very fortunate in the caliber of teachers I have studied with: David Feinberg, Paul Kramer, Clair Frye, Richard Lack, Eugene Larkin, Jerry Krepps, and Phyllis Ames Wiener, to name a few. Each of these instructors stressed being steeped in the essentials of the media and thinking of the total impact and quality of the work.” As a result, Ruth cares for her paintings from start to finish, stretching her own linen canvases and framing each completed work. Of these rituals she states, “I like the independence and the physical contrast to painting.”


Always active in the arts, Ruth has been an instructor in both public school and workshop settings. While in California, she served on the board of the San Diego Art Institute and during her time in Arizona, she founded the Canyonside Gallery Coop in Wickenburg. The artist has a long history with the Minnesota State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition: she has participated intermittently since the 1960s and was included in the Former First Place Award Winners Group Exhibit in 2004.


Ruth’s paintings have been featured in solo shows at the Temple of Aaron in St. Paul, Normandale Community College in Minneapolis and at the University of Minnesota-Morris.  Her work is included in the collections of the Minnesota Museum of American Art and the Minnesota Historical Society. It is represented in numerous private and corporate collections in the United States and Europe including those at 3M Corporation, Macalester College in St. Paul, Merill-Lynch in Nashville, and the Aspen Institute in Washington DC.

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