In 2007, art gallery space was added to the Community Room of the Cuba Circulating Library. This was made possible by gifts from Jim and Delores Cross, and from Dean Benham in honor of his grandchildren, Jack and Claire Benham. This space is used to highlight the works of local artists.
Americana by Brian Rutana
Objects typical of America relating to its history & culture
This series of “Americana” paintings focuses on old signs and vehicles that were once commonly seen throughout the United States of America. Some represent specific geographic regions of the country. Others are reminders of forlorn roadside remnants sometimes strategically placed as yard ornaments or commercial attractions. Route 66 across the western states is renowned for this type of nostalgia. The objects in these paintings reflect a bygone era, and are often desired collectibles.
As a retired sign painter and one whose youth was spent working in an auto repair shop, I have a passion for seeking out and photographing memorable signs and automobiles. These paintings exemplify many of these sites.
I attended the School of Worcester Art Museum in Massachusetts, and during those years began working as an apprentice in a sign shop in Holden, MA. After relocating to Northern California, I continued working as a journeyman sign painter for several more years in San Rafael, CA, before opening my own small sign shop in the San Francisco Bay Area for almost thirty years.
Since retiring from the sign industry, I continue to work with media that I used in my sign painting career. The paintings in this series are done with sign painter’s oils on reclaimed wood panels.
This collection of Paintings is part of the Artists Among Us Program presented by the Fountain Arts Center, and its host sites. It is sponsored in part by the New York State Council for the Arts, Western NY Arts Services Initiative, Signs & Wonders Studio, and Fountain Arts Center.
Funded in part by The New York State Council on the Arts decentralization regrant program with the support of the Office of the Governor and the New York State Legislature and administered by the Cattaraugus County Arts Council.