Three generations of Segaloff’s family have been artist storytellers, and this legacy was passed on to her. After graduating from Washington University in St. Louis, she joined VISTA, the domestic Peace Corps. She was stationed on the Nez Perce Indian Reservation in Idaho, where she came to appreciate native traditions and art. After completing her VISTA service, Ruth attended Rutgers University, where, in 1969, she earned a Masters Degree in Social Work and moved to Boston.
Segaloff grew up in New Orleans during the nineteen fifties, at the violent beginnings of the civil rights movement and at the height of Joseph McCarthy’s Communist witch hunts. While she was attending college, John Kennedy, Martin Luther King, Jr., and Bobby Kennedy all were assassinated. The Vietnam War, begun under JFK, gave rise to the anti-war movement, and the brutal response of President Lyndon Johnson’s Administration. These traumatic events greatly influenced her, and peace and social justice have been common themes of her artwork.
Stories have been central to Ruth’s forty year career in social work. She retired in 2008 to become a full time artist. Despite limited formal arts training, she has found considerable success. In 2007, she created “Stories in Collage & Mixed Media,” and had a solo show, “Lest We Forget,” in the T. Ross Kelly Family Gallery @ the Watertown Free Public Library. In 2008, she had a solo show at the Alchemist Lounge in Jamaica Plain. In 2011, her art appeared in a national juried show in New York City.
Since 2006, her artworks have been on exhibit in over seventy shows throughout Massachusetts and nationally. Included are these medical and mental health settings: Tufts Dental School Clinic; Harvard Vanguard Health Center/Watertown (solo show); Harvard Vanguard Health Center/Wellesley (Visual Services); Riverside, a mental health program in Newton; and in the Newton-based clinic, Neuropsychology & Educational Services for Children and Adolescents (solo show).
In addition to her work as an artist, Segaloff volunteers as an artist/mentor in programs benefiting from the healing powers of creativity. Settings have included Medicine Wheel Productions in South Boston; Girls, Inc., in Lynn; Portis House, a shelter in Jamaica Plain for mothers in recovery and their children; and the Boston area Sjogren’s Syndrome Support Group, for a those suffering from that chronic illness.
Most recently, she created the Therapeutic Arts Journal Writing Project for incarcerated women at a minimum security/pre-release center. Her work there is sponsored by S.O.A.R. 55 (Service Opportunities After Reaching 55), an AmeriCorps Senior Corps program based in Newton.
JURIED MEMBERSHIPS: Galatea Fine Art (SOWA district, Boston); Cambridge Art Association