RUTH ENSLEY- Artist of the Year 2023


VAS names its Artist of the Year for 2023

Ruth Ensley

We are so pleased to announce Ruth as VAS’s 2023 Artist of the Year. This is our organization’s highest honor. Recipients are chosen by the Board not only for their accomplishments as an artist, but for their contributions to VAS and our community.

Ruth’s contributions to VAS over many years have been legion: She has been an active member since 2008, and served as President from 2019-2022, three years which spanned the very difficult pandemic period. Her energy, support and ideas kept VAS alive during those challenging times; initiatives included expanding the Executive Board and Advisory Board, increasing our social media presence, administrative improvements, starting our popular critique groups, and opening new exhibit venues. Ruth has often said, however, that she couldn’t have accomplished anything if VAS didn’t have such accomplished and supportive members to work with.

Even after leaving her Presidency in 2022, she continues to contribute – she serves on the VAS Executive Board AND the VAS Advisory Board, co-directs the VAS Gallery, continues to lead our Critique Groups, serves on our Bench committee, and helps with almost all of our show hangings.

On top of all that she’s given to VAS, her accomplishments as an award-winning artist are equally impressive. Born and raised around Pittsburgh, PA, she received BA’s in both Fine Arts and Art Education and has been creating art in a variety of media and subject matter since 1966. For over 15 years, she lived and exhibited abroad – the Middle East, Madagascar and Latin America – and saw first-hand how important ecosystems are to different animal species and how much danger these habitats are in. Her beautiful colors and transparencies of watercolors using birds as the center of focus show what could be lost, as right now half of all bird species worldwide are extinct or becoming so. She also loves to paint our local foxes and birds.

Ruth’s work will be highlighted with a solo show in the spring, at the VAS Gallery at the Village Green Shopping Center, where you will have a chance to see a collection of her beautiful works all hanging together.