Oregon Women's Land Trust Meeting
1970s, Ruth Mountaingrove

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Ruth Mountaingrove

Ruth Mountaingrove was born in Philadelphia in 1923 and has lived on the West Coast since 1971. She earned a Master of Arts in Photography in 1990 from Humboldt State University, Arcata, California. She has had numerous one-woman exhibitions in her career including Boston University, University of Pennsylvania, San Antonio, Texas, San Diego, California, Seattle, Washington, Portland, Oregon and the University Museum in Eugene.

She has been part of the collective and co-publisher of The Blatant Image: A Magazine of Feminist Photography, 1981-83 and ran the Ovular Photography summer workshops in the mountains of Oregon for six years, 1979-1982. She was also the co-publisher of WomanSpirit for ten years, 1974 - 1984.

Her work 1972 - 1984 spans a twelve year period of photographing women in the lesbian community across the country as well as in Oregon. This work will be part of Special Collections at the Knight Library at the University of Oregon. Consisting of twenty loose leaf notebooks plus hundreds of 4" x 5" negatives, the work is in the process of being catalogued and will go to the university at her death.

In 1989 she curated a ten person photography exhibition at the ink People's gallery in Eureka, California. In 1991 she curated an all women's photography exhibition, half lesbian, half feminist photographers at the same gallery.

Her work in photography since 1986 has been largely a process she calls Drawing with Light. Working solely in the darkroom she uses photography in a unique way. Her work looks more like sumi ink drawings, or in some cases like paintings. Shades of black and white, texture, depth, color, sharp and soft lines, coupled with repetition are all part of these one of a kind marks.

In 1997 - 1998 she had one woman shows at Northcoast Internet, SHNEngineering, and The Lesbian, Gay, Bi-sexual, Transgendered Center.

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All text Tee A. Corinne and Ruth Mountaingrove.