Ruby Palmer was born in Boston in 1969 and spent the majority of her childhood in rural Pennsylvania. She received her BA in Painting and Drawing from Hampshire College in 1992. After a few years roaming the western states, she landed in Brooklyn in 1995. In 2000 she received her MFA from the School of Visual Arts.

Ruby currently lives and works in Rhinecliff, New York.

Born 1969 Boston, MA


2000   MFA, School of Visual Arts, New York, NY
1992   BA, Hampshire College, Amherst, MA


2000 Silas H. Rhodes Merit Scholarship, School of Visual Arts
2000 Paula Rhodes Memorial Scholarship, 2000, School of Visual Arts
1999 Joan Mitchell Foundation Grant For Painters and Sculptors

Solo Exhibitions
Project Space at Morgan Lehman Gallery, New York, NY

Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA

Landlife,  Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA

Creatures of Habit Part II, Claudine Boutique, New York, NY

Creatures of Habit, Doma Café and Gallery, New York, NY

Ruby Palmer, Gallery 3A, Brooklyn, NY

Ruby Palmer : Paintings and Drawings, Doma Cafe and Gallery, New York, NY
Ruby Palmer : New Work, Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA

Ruby Palmer : Recent Works, Art Design Digression Gallery, Hudson, NY

Group Exhibitions
Soundings for Fathoms, Parallel Art Space, New York, NY

Sawkille Prints Show, Rinebeck, NY
Megan Lipke and Ruby Palmer, Karen A. Garafalo Cultural Center, Philmont, NY

Summer Solstice, Page Bond Gallery, Richmond, VA
Bestiary, Wassaic Project, curated by Sally Morgan, Wassaic, NY

Invisible duck tape, Gallery Satori, NY

Double Bubble, Page Bond Gallery, Righmond, VA

Regeneration Room, February, LMAK Projects, Brooklyn, NY
Site 92, Smack Mellon, Brooklyn, NY

Emerging: Franklin Evans, Greg Murr, Ruby Palmer, Morgan Lehman Gallery, Lakeville, CT
Colored Pencil, KS Art, New York, NY

A Bestiary, curated by Josh Dorman, 55 Mercer Gallery, New York, NY
A Group Show Four Artists, curated by Bradd Skubinna, Kolva-Sullivan Gallery, Spokane, WA

Art For Now, Kristen Frederickson Contemporary Art, New York, NY

The Big Show, curated by Loren Madsen, Visual Arts Gallery, New York, NY

Selections from the MFA Department, organized by Elga Wimmer, Visual Arts Gallery, New York, NY
New York Area MFA Exhibition, co-sponsored by the College Art Association, Hunter College Times Square Gallery, New York, NY

Group Trope, curated by David Row, Visual Arts Gallery, New York, NY
The Stroke, selected by Suzanne McClelland, Exit Art, New York, NY

Underexposed, Kendall Fine Art and Design, Hudson, NY

The “animal paintings” began as a way to lighten the mood in my studio as I was making abstract paintings and constructions, which were taking on a more serious and cautionary sense of play.  I remember sitting at my desk, picking up a paintbrush and a little dark watercolor, and scribbling out a very small poodle. It had a curious expressive body and tilt to the head. The drawing would often get buried under other things, only to be recovered again each time I cleared off the surface of the desk.  I didn’t think much of it, but I liked having it around.  It seemed to help regain some freshness in the other work.  I started noticing more and more little dogs on the street, as the city-wide trend caught on.  They always seemed so comical to me.  Cute, sometimes ridiculous, and always very vulnerable to the elements.

At some point, more creatures began to emerge in my work.  It wasn’t always obvious what exactly they were-part dog, part horse. Part bunny, part bear. Sometimes I’d have a vine-like drawing and it seemed to be missing something, so I’d add a little red bird on a perch dangling from one of the stems.  Or I might paint some stage curtains and center a bunny with pearls on a stool right in the middle.  Bears lined up awkwardly for a portrait. I started to see a whole world opening up in front of me that felt more direct, more overt, and a risk expressively.  I still make my abstract paintings and constructions, and the two bodies of work play off each other.

Once I became a mother, this work really took flight.  The environment containing the “subject”/animal, became more and more specific.  A sense of isolation, but also of survival, has become a recurring theme.  Nature in unexpected places.  Animals on stages doing strange performances. Bunnies reproducing, but on lonely floating planks.  The vulnerable qualities of animals appeal to me.

I’ve been looking at folk art.  I appreciate what happens when there’s a vision and limited skills.  An awkwardness of spacial relationships always catches my eye. Often things are still obscure and roughly articulated and very imaginative.

The latest work has the added element of collage.  This is a pleasingly fluid way of working that frees me up to play and rearrange before I settle on the final composition.  The collage element also adds a very slight dimensional feel to the picture, and I hope some ambiguity as to how the painting is made.