By Jennifer Kotila
This story is part of the 2012-13 Arts in Review, a special section recapping DC arts. The full version can be seen in this week's print edition.
DASSEL-COKATO, MN A student who has taken nearly every art class Dassel-Cokato High School has to offer, as well as three independent study classes in art, has been named the 2012-13 Artist of the Year for DC.
Ruby Bauman, the Artist of the Year and daughter of Ken and Lori Bauman of Cokato, said the only reason she missed taking one of the art classes offered at DC is due to scheduling conflicts with other classes she needed to graduate.
Since she was old enough to hold a pencil, Bauman has been drawing. “At first, my parents thought it was pretty cool,” she said. “Gradually, it got less cool as they realized I actually wanted to pursue it,” she added, only slightly joking.
Despite the concerns her parents may have with Bauman pursuing a career in art, they have fully supported her buying her lots of supplies and encouraging her to get her class projects finished, she said.
Bauman will be attending St. Cloud State University in the fall, double-majoring in art and mass communications, and double-minoring in film studies and theater, which she is also very enthusiastic about.
Although Bauman has been drawing since she could remember, it was not until she was in seventh or eighth grade that she realized she could pursue art as a career.
It was also at that time that she realized she had a special talent for art. However, that special talent does not keep her from getting discouraged from time to time.
For instance, one of the things she finds most difficult about being an artist is to continue to create new art, especially if she does not feel good about a piece she just finished, Bauman said.
“I find creating art around other people is easier for me,” she said, noting it allows her to bounce ideas off people and seek support when it is needed.
Bauman also readily admits that she likes a piece she has created a lot more when others tell her they like it.
To create her artwork, Bauman draws a lot of inspiration from everyday things, such as what’s going on in her life and the world, television, movies, music, and foreign animation.
She will find herself being really moved by a movie, a piece of literature, or a screen play and then go and draw something.
“The best part of art is creating something nobody else has seen,” Bauman said. “Being able to take something inside somebody’s head and making it real I think that’s really cool.”
DC art teacher Geoff Welles also continuously gives Bauman inspiration, she said. He has given her a lot of support and encouragement pushing her to get assignments completed, even if she does not particularly like them.
“He puts up with all my stupid art questions or totally changing the project he has assigned,” she said.
Bauman’s favorite medium is painting, she said. “It takes me a long time to do, and I think it’s a lot harder, but I’m drawn to it,” she added.
Her favorite type of paint is acrylic, but she is starting to like using oil, as well.
Before, Bauman wasn’t fond of oil because she found it hard to work with and smudgy, but she has since learned that if she uses enough turpentine, it is easier to control and create the hard lines she desires.
Another medium Bauman likes is graphic design and using the software, Photoshop.
The medium Bauman finds most difficult to work with is pencil drawing. “I never see pencil as finished, so when I work with it it takes a long time to finish,” she said.
Bauman has earned some money through the years showing her art at fairs, but has never sold any of her artwork.
She hopes to change that by selling art at her graduation party to raise money for college, she said.