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Found art: Rastro'

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February 14, 2002|STAFF REPORT

CALEXICO — An exhibit by Tijuana artist Jaime Ruíz Otis opens tonight in the Steppling Art Gallery at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus here.

The public is invited to an opening reception from 6:30 to 8.

The exhibit, titled "Rastro," is part of the year-long creative work sponsored by a grant to Ruíz from Mexico's FOECA, a state organization for the support of arts and culture. The monetary award is both a recognition of the artist's past accomplishments and an acknowledgment of his potential as a young artist in Baja California.

"Ruíz typically works with recycled industrial materials," Steppling gallery director Sheila Dollente said. "He has incorporated everything from gold leaf to gummed labels to print-cartridge toner powders into his paintings and other art objects."

"While working at a maquiladora a few years ago," said Ruíz, "I began thinking about the possibilities in materials that are routinely discarded. My art investigates the transformation of these items into something beautiful."

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Ruíz has participated in numerous solo and group exhibitions in Baja California, most recently with the solo exhibit, "Las Sobras," at the gallery of the Universidad Autónoma de Baja California in Tijuana.

His work was included in the October exhibit, "Pintura Fresca," at the Luckman Gallery of California State University, Los Angeles.

In addition to the current FOECA grant, Ruíz has received other grants and awards including a first-place prize in drawing at the XII Bienal of Baja California in 1999. Two of his mixed-media paintings were selected for the First Show of Northern Painting in Mexico in 2000.

Ruíz's art has been the subject of articles in the San Diego Union-Tribune, Bitácora and Tierra Adentro, a Mexico City-based cultural arts magazine.

"Rastro" will be on view in Steppling gallery through March 15. The gallery is open from 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday during the exhibit or Thursdays and Fridays by appointment. For information contact the Dollente at 768-5536.

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