Published on April 27th, 2023 | by Nature Humphries


Young Artists to Watch at Double Decker This Year: Ruth Hogue

Artistic Style: Impressionist

Hometown: Oxford, Mississippi

How long have you lived in Oxford? I moved to Oxford in the fall of my sixth grade year at age 11, and I’m still here at 24!

Early art experience: I’ve loved to draw my entire life, creating elaborate characters and stories with my five younger siblings (who are all also very artistically gifted). Our parents have always supported us in all our artistic endeavors and encouraged us to pursue our talents wherever we could, but I really began to grow as an artist at Oxford High School under the best art teachers ever, Duran and Ebony Johnson.

Art school? I have no formal training outside of high school, but I will be embarking on my BFA.journey this fall at Ole Miss!

Favorite book or author: My favorite book as of late is a tie between Kate Chopin’s The Awakening and Charlotte Bronte’s Wuthering Heights—I love anything detailing the angst and existentialism of womanhood.

Favorite quote: “The best time to plant an oak tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now.” —Chinese proverb

Do you work out of a studio? I work out of the corner in my room between the foot of my bed and the wall. This can be a good and bad thing; I love having access to my artwork at all times but it can get a little stressful having to stare at my unfinished work when I’m trying to relax!

How many hours do you spend in your studio each day? My studio is my bedroom, so I spend most of my time there. Suffice to say a lot of my inspiration comes from the fumes I probably inhale on a regular basis.

Three ideas you want to explore in art: One idea I like to explore in my art is the beauty in the decaying, rotting, and run down things that characterize the landscape of the South. I love painting old buildings and dead animals and grown-over signs—anything a passerby might judgingly side-eye passing through town on a 13-hour road trip. Another idea I like to explore is the experience of losing one’s faith and suffering from the lifelong effects of a religious upbringing. I want to capture this complex array of feelings, ranging from resentment to gratitude, to anger and shame and grief, but also joy and love… It’s so difficult to express how something that raised you, something so integral to your identity can also be the source of such immense pain and anguish. A theme I would like to explore in the future would be people and their environmental objects. I would love to do a series of portraits of people surrounded by the things they love and hate, demonstrating how they make up who a person is whether they like it or not.

Do you have a “day job”? If so, where? I work as a server at Volta Taverna while I finish my other degree in Psychology at Ole Miss.

What are some of your other hobbies? I love singing and playing guitar with my sister Georgia and my BFF/sister-in-law Maddison. I also love watching movies and binging The X-Files with my boyfriend Dylan while we binge our Maharaja!

Where do you hang out in Oxford? My favorite place to hang out is definitely at the lake with my sister and our friends, or just anywhere my friends are. My second favorite place to hang out is my parents’ home on College Hill; I love being able to hang out with my younger siblings (and their dogs).

Aspirations: I graduate with two degrees in 2025 in Psychology and a BFA in Painting in 2025, and I plan on going to graduate school to pursue a career in art therapy. Ultimately, I would love for my paintings to be my full-time job, but in this economy one can only dream!

Website and/or social media: @vestigial.leaf on instagram   

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