Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi

Ricardo Ruiz

An Outstanding Islander

Outline photo of Ricardo Ruiz

Heart of the Art
University alumnus and artist Ricardo Ruiz jokes that he was drawing before he could pronounce his first word. As early as age 3, Ruiz’s parents called on him to draw on the spot to impress friends and relatives. From the beginning Ruiz was encouraged by his parents to become an artist. The 1986 Corpus Christi State University graduate has artwork included in the permanent collections of the Art Museum of South Texas and the University of Texas at San Antonio. Ruiz comes from a long line of animated storytellers, which he admits greatly influenced the direction of his artwork. He also draws inspiration from his Hispanic heritage, family, friends and what’s in the news. His exhibition, “Visions from the Backyard: A Survey,” opened in February 2011 and is on display through March 5 in the University’s Weil Gallery. The exhibition, which includes paintings, prints and drawings, spans Ruiz’s career from 1985 to the present. Most of his paintings involve themes and imagery of family, the cycles of life and death, and Mexican-American folklore. Reoccurring subjects in his vibrant paintings include angels, skeletons, frogs and snakes. The images for the paintings usually come to Ruiz either in his dreams or in waking hours and “beg to be painted.” Ruiz, who shows his work across Texas and Louisiana, also paints members of his family, including his wife, Janie, and three sons Ricardo “Ricky,” Robby and Quintincito.  For the past 30 years, Ruiz has worked as a supply coordinator for Christus Spohn Hospital. After work, Ruiz returns to his studio to paint three to four hours a day. The local K Space artist recently sold his painting of a snowman wearing a “sombrero” commemorating Corpus Christi’s 2004 Christmas Day snow to actor Cheech Marin. Ruiz’s oldest son, Ricky, is pursuing an art degree at Texas A&M-Corpus Christi.

© Texas A&M University-Corpus Christi • 6300 Ocean Drive, Corpus Christi, Texas 78412 • 361-825-5700