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Thursday, February 17, 2011

Featured Artist Rick Ruggles: Capturing the Accidental Heart



Who better to feature as February’s artist than Rick Ruggles, creator of “Found Hearts Photography,” whose work is an inspiration to find love in the world around us. Rick has photographed thousands of “found hearts,” natural shapes and patterns of light he finds which resemble hearts. Rick photographs the hearts as he finds them, in natural and urban settings: sunlight through branches, flowers by the roadside, puddles, clouds, rusty metal.

Rick was born in Ohio and earned a degree in geology from Oberlin College. While in school, he picked up his father’s love of photography and began carrying his camera everywhere. Encouraged by friends and family, by 2001 he turned his hobby into a full-time career. He currently resides in Washington DC.

The inspiration for Rick’s extensive line of Found Heart Photographs came from the discovery of a heart-shaped pothole. Having passed it by for months, he finally photographed it just days before it was repaved. When Rick found a few other hearts nearby, he framed a set of four as a valentine, which was happily received. The experience led him to a “benign obsession” to capture “found” heart shapes of all kinds, each exactly as he finds them, without manipulation or adjustment. Rick’s collection now numbers in the thousands.

Rick has exhibited his work at the Smithsonian Craft Show, American Craft Council shows, the New York International Gift Fair and the National Stationery Show.

“Perhaps it is my training in geology that led me to focus on details within the larger landscape,” Rick says. “My eyes are now attuned to the heart shape in the world around me and it is a rare day that I don’t find at least one new image to add to the collection. I carry my camera almost everywhere and have photographed thousands of hearts as I find them. I am delighted by the number of people who tell me that they now spot hearts too.”

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