Meet Rubina, ABIA’s Artist-In-Residence
Rubin Anjum is a local Austin-based artist and current artist-in-residence at the Austin Bergstrom International Airport. She has been living in the Austin area for over 25 years and has many years of experience as a talented artist. Currently, she lives and works just south of Austin’s Mueller neighborhood.
She got started painting at a very young age, with a focus mainly on watercolors and oil paintings. While Rubina was busy being a homemaker and raising her three children, she was also always trying to find ways to stay creative. One of the ways she did this was by teaching watercolor painting classes in Austin libraries and at her children’s schools. She stayed busy, offering these classes to students of all ages, ranging in age from four to ninety years old. Sometimes she would teach up to 30 students at a time! She loved being able to paint and share her passion with others while finding a way to stay connected with her community. Part of Rubina’s objective and persistence in being a creative person has always been to inspire other people to be creative themselves. It’s very gratifying for her to see others share the artwork that she inspired.
A Journey through Rubina’s Art
Rubin refers to herself as a Space age artist, making art inspired by satellite imagery of the Earth. Her main body of art is the Planet Earth series, which is a collection of pieces inspired by images taken from the Landsat7 satellite of the Earth. During our interview, she guides us through the three stages of her series. Planet Earth series 1 showcases 20 large pieces painted with oil on canvas. When she started series 2, she branched off and started doing more chromatic impressions with watercolors. This allowed her to be less confined than in her oil painting work. In series 3 she eventually made the transition to expressionistic art. One example is her painting Hidden Portraits (Tanami Desert). She describes this painting as having an overlap of reality and imagination with many images of real and mythological creatures hidden throughout the painting.
In 2019 Rubina had the opportunity to exhibit some of her work at Austin Bergstrom Internation Airport at the Morse Crossing Gallery, the largest gallery at the airport. She showcased 11 of her large pieces there for 6 months. During this time, over 8 million visitors saw her work! One visitor who slowed down to enjoy the beauty in Rubina’s Planet Earth series wrote this article.
Rubina currently holds the title of Artist-in-Residence at the Austin Bergstrom Internation Airport. In fact, she is the first artist to hold this title. She had been participating in the East Austin Studio Tour when the curator from the airport saw her art. The curator wanted people to be able to experience art and relax at the same time.
Currently, videos of Rubina making art are playing near checkpoint two, right next to American Airlines. You can also see meditation videos playing on monitors in hold rooms for gates 1 – 12. These videos incorporate meditation techniques and words while Rubina makes art.
The final phase in Rubina’s residency is art making in the actual studio. There is a large space in the airport that they have given Rubina to use as a studio. She has been working on four large paintings here. She will be the artist-in-residence for another year or so while finishing her project.
Where to see Rubina’s Work
Make sure to slow down and check out Rubina’s art next time you travel through the airport in Austin! And you can see even more of her work, and order canvas prints, paper prints, or greeting cards by visiting her website at rubinaart.gallery. Rubina also sells her art as NFTs on OpenSea and you receive a canvas print with your purchase. If you are ever interested in visiting Rubina’s studio, Rubina Art Gallery, it is located just south of the Mueller neighborhood in her home so just be sure to make an appointment!
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