Installation of artist Ruby Aver’s What Is Your Footprint? (2023, acrylic on canvas) artwork for the Housy Windows Project.

Ruby Aver

“I grew up on the South Side of Chicago in the ’60s and playing in the streets demanded a certain kind of grit. It was a history-rich and troubled time. 

For the last thirty years, I’ve been teaching Tai Chi, which requires a Zen state of mind. My paintings come from this quiet place yet exhibit the rich grit of my youth. In my work, movement, shape, and color dominate. I call this process “Street Zen.”

Participating in the Housy Windows Project in Housatonic is the first time I had the opportunity to create paintings on such a large scale. As intimidating as the sheer size of the blank canvases was, I enjoyed surrendering to the present and approached each panel with little planning.


Ruby Aver, working on her 4-panel painting for the Housy Windows Project.

Improvising and following the volume of space in front of me was an amazing experience. I deeply appreciate the Center for Peace through Culture’s Executive Director, Andreas Engel, for providing this extraordinary opportunity to stretch and to literally expand as an artist and bring my work outdoors alongside other artists. As a resident of Housatonic for 25 years, the location of the installation on the abandoned schoolhouse in the center of Housatonic is particularly meaningful.

I call my completed panels What is Your Footprint? The work is a reminder that our day-to-day actions are either a vote for or against our beautiful Earth and each other. Often these reminders can feel grim. I hope that by using the humor of the purple footprints in my panels, my art will help in some way to keep Housatonic and our planet at large vibrant and well.”

~ Ruby Aver

With a background in professional, classical, and contemporary dance Ruby Avery teaches a style of Tai Chi that she developed studying under Master Djie Han Thung in the Netherlands. Her creative work can be found on Instagram at @rdaver2

The Center for Peace through Culture uses the arts as a vehicle to inspire and cultivate more peaceful selves and community.