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November 21, 2021

Spotlight on Patti Ruiz-Healy

Article by Patti Ruiz-Healy & newcube

3 minutes read

Patti Ruiz-Healy

Patti, we are delighted to have the chance to chat about your experience in the art world. If you could start off by telling  us a little bit about yourself, your background and how you came to enter the contemporary art world?

I was raised in San Antonio, Texas and moved to New York City to pursue a master’s in art business. I work at Ruiz-Healy Art, which my mother founded in 2006. I joined the gallery in 2015, after a couple of years at Sotheby’s as a member of the Latin American Art Department. Working at an auction house is great training because you get to experience all sides of the art market: sales, cataloging, research and conservation. Once it came to making my next move in the art world, I knew there was no better move than to work with my mom, she is my best friend and mentor.

Ruiz-Healy Art specializes in contemporary works of art with an emphasis on Latinx and Latin American artists, as well as working with prominent Texas-based artists. Most of our gallery program centers on artists who are generally underrepresented and at times overlooked in the contemporary art world.

As a gallery with physical locations in both Texas and New York, how has Ruiz-Healy Art adapted to the changing conditions of COVID?

We are lucky to have an amazing team that really embraced the transition to virtual/online viewing rooms. In May 2020 we participated in the first ever edition of Frieze Viewing Room, which was due to be an in-person fair of course. We were sort of thrown into the lion’s den, but the Frieze team really helped the galleries adapt and now I believe having to embrace the new digital format early in the pandemic helped us.

Fabric glued together in neon green, blue, yellow, and black with text
Doubt Consumed You by Molly Kent

How do you find and research the artists that you add to the gallery?

Many of them have come from recommendations by artists we work with. Others are artists that we discovered through curated exhibitions. We also read art journals and attend art history conferences where practices of other artists come to our attention. That’s usually the way we start a conversation which then might lead to a studio visit and so on.

What advice would you give to emerging artists seeking representation?

Many of our current roster of artists have been recommended to us by our other artists so I think it is very important to really connect as an artist with your artist community.

What artist would you love to collect yourself if you could choose anyone? 

Any piece that I would collect must be the type of work that will start a conversation. For me the most important thing about art is the conversations that arise. One artist who resonates with me on a personal level is Jennifer Ling Datchuk. Jennifer’s work shines light on so many issues facing women today; race, identity and fertility. I have also always loved the work of Bosco Sodi, Gerd Leufert, Geo, and of course Chuck Ramirez whose estate Ruiz-Healy Art is proud to represent.

What artist would you love to collect yourself if you could choose anyone? 

Any piece that I would collect must be the type of work that will start a conversation. For me the most important thing about art is the conversations that arise. One artist who resonates with me on a personal level is Jennifer Ling Datchuk. Jennifer’s work shines light on so many issues facing women today; race, identity and fertility. I have also always loved the work of Bosco Sodi, Gerd Leufert, Geo, and of course Chuck Ramirez whose estate Ruiz-Healy Art is proud to represent.

What would your predictions be for the art world in the next 5 years?

Unless COVID vaccinations are administered globally I think that we are going to continue to have travel restrictions and lockdowns which is really going to limit the usual art fair/travel calendar. I really believe the future is going to be making the art world virtual and perfecting ways to connect with curators, artists, and collectors online.

Elina Salminen, A Window, 2017
Rainbow text against a black background
Pedro Ruxa, With Silence We Speak, 2020
I Have Authority by Shantel Miller
Fabric glued together in neon green, blue, yellow, and black with text
Doubt Consumed You by Molly Kent
Elina Salminen, A Window, 2017
Rainbow text against a black background
Pedro Ruxa, With Silence We Speak, 2020

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