Friday, January 17, 2014

Jeff Ribaudo - Makin' The Headlines

Last week CX member Jeff Ribaudo made it into The Press-Enterprise's Artist Spotlight. For those of you who might have missed it, check out the article below...

BYLINE: Patrick Brien

Make your own opportunities. This building block of the entrepreneurial spirit may not be what one might expect to be taught in a high school art class, but it is exactly the sort of wisdom imparted by Jeff Ribaudo, now in his second year at Norte Vista High School.

Some of Ribaudo’s former students from the 13 years he had previously spent teaching at La Sierra High School took this to heart. They were the first to begin displaying and selling artwork the corner of Lemon Street and University Avenue during downtown Riverside’s monthly Artswalk on First Thursdays. Their efforts inspired a growing number of young artists without studios or galleries to begin setting up alongside them. Eventually, they reached a critical mass and the Riverside Arts Council worked with the Riverside Downtown Partnership and the City of Riverside to establish the artist vendor lot that has now become a fixture of Artswalk.

“I hope more of my students will push the envelope and create their own success stories,” says Ribaudo, who teaches drawing and painting along with some ceramics, printmaking and mixed media.

Ribaudo, who received a BA in Fine Art from Cal Poly Pomona and an MFA in Studio Art from Claremont, is a busy producing artist, as well. When asked about the style of his collages and drawings, he says that they “combine crass humor, beauty and irony.” He also does an extensive amount of print making, including screen printing, lino cuts and solar plate printing.

His favorite exhibits have included his shows at the Riverside Art Museum, both solo and with his collaborative partner, Froukje Schaafsma-Smith. They recently had a show of recycled books in October 2013.

 “I really enjoyed ‘Supersonic,’ which was a Southern California MFA art show in 2004 at the Art Center in Pasadena,” says Ribaudo. “I am also really proud of the ‘Earwax’ events I helped curate with Lee Tusman and Micah Carlson at the Riverside Art Museum, especially the show with live painting by Raymond Pettibon and bass by Mike Watt.”

Ribaudo recently completed a year-long residency with F4D Studios (Fighting 4 Dreams), which he describes as a “great art studio filled with some of the most talented artists in the Inland Empire.”

“Last spring, Jeff Soto and Maxx 242 of F4D were invited to Pictoplasma, which is an art festival in Berlin,” continues Ribaudo. “Jason Gallo and I went along to help create a mural for the festival. I also got to participate in a lecture about my work, and make art with teens from Turkey while we were there. We made handmade recycled books and had a drawing session. It was sponsored in part by the American consulate. Berlin is a great city and it was a fun experience. Traveling always inspires me. I am still growing from it.”

Ribaudo is also a part of Collaboration X, a diverse group of artists from various parts of the Inland Empire that does community events and shows collectively each year.

“In addition, I have been working with other artists since about 2007,” he says. “I have been running one-of-a-kind prints and making collaborative art. I always walk away from collaboration with new eyes and an excitement to make new work.”

As if determined to set a personal example with his own level of opportunity making and hard work, Ribaudo is also part of the SCA Project Gallery in Pomona. He is in the process of working on a two person show with Schaafsma-Smith that opens there in June 2014, and curating a recycled art show that will be held at the same time. He also curates at RC Gallery.

“It’s in a gas station and a test only smog check station near El Pollo Loco and Islands at the Riverside Plaza,” he says. “I have been working with Steven there for several years. We have an exciting show coming up featuring Pavel Acevedo, Jason Gallo, Froukje Schaafsma-Smith and Jophen Stein, so if you need your car smogged, or you are in the area, stop in and take a look.”

Ribaudo also finds time to enjoy his family, with whom he lives in Riverside.

“I love to travel, listen to vinyl, do things with my family, skateboard, ride my bike, golf and read my Zite,” he says.

For more information about Jeff Ribaudo, visit Always the collaborator, he also is careful to point out the readers can learn about the rest of the artists with whom he is involved by going to

ORGANIZATION TAG: Patrick Brien is the Executive Director of the Riverside Arts Council, a private, non-profit corporation whose mission is “to provide, develop, support and sustain the arts.” Established in 1977, it is Riverside County’s central source for arts-related services, information, education and outreach. Programs include arts education, exhibitions, technical assistance, marketing and convening of collaborative projects that connect groups and communities throughout the region.

For more information about the Artist Spotlight, contact the Riverside Arts Council at (951) 680-1345 or Visit and sign up for the 15 Favorite Things to Do in Riverside to receive weekly updates on arts events.

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