Art museum

Ruby delighted to take over the Coos Art Museum | Local News

Leah Ruby has long had a passion for art, museums and the Oregon Coast. So when she learned that the Coos Art Museum was hiring a new CEO, the opportunity was too good to pass up.

“The Coos Art Museum is perfectly situated to be a community arts center,” she said. “I couldn’t let such a great opportunity pass.”

Ruby, who started as the museum’s executive director in January, is a lifelong artist who enjoys ceramics and painting. She earned an undergraduate degree in art and art history and two master’s degrees in museum science and education.

In recent years, she has visited museums and assessed their exhibits. She said that with this background, she was excited to visit the Coos Art Museum.

“I love the area,” she said. “I am impressed with the number of supporters of the museum. People love this place. I love the staff. Such professional staff, dedicated staff.”

Ruby thinks the timing of her move was perfect, especially with the state lifting several of her COVID-19 warrants. With the easing of mandates, Ruby said the museum is ready to fully reopen to introduce art to those in southern Oregon.

“I look forward to lots of art for the community with classes, programs and movies,” Ruby said. “We are resuming classes, we are even starting school trips again this month.”

Ruby said former executive director Steven Broocks left the museum in good shape, adding that Broocks had already volunteered to help at the museum.

The museum currently presents the VISIONS art competition in partnership with Southwestern Oregon Community College, as well as the student biennial. Broocks left a show schedule for the rest of the year that Ruby can’t wait to see.

“I’m so excited about everything that’s coming up,” she said. “Karen Russo and Shannon Weber, they’re doing a show together. It’s all nature scenes and their interpretation of nature. I’m really excited about it.”

Other upcoming shows this year include a show with Walt Padgett, the 28th Annual Maritime Exposition and Goodwin Chronister.

Ruby is already working on her own exhibits and is looking forward to presenting an exhibit with the museum’s permanent collection, which she says has some amazing pieces.

The Coos Art Museum is open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday. During the VISIONS fair and student Biennium, admission to the museum is free.