475 25th Street, Oakland CA 94612

Friday + Saturday: 12-5pm and by appt.

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Ruth Tabancay: Igneous Systems

June 2016

"Geode" (2016) crochet, acrylic yarn 18" h x 28" x 28" (photo by Dana Davis)

For Igneous Systems, Ruth Tabancay continues her body of work informed by Euclidean and non-Euclidean geometry. Using various and unexpected media, she emulates rock formations, molten and solid metals, and molecular structures, all phenomena which have been created or changed by heat.

In Basalt Causeway, burnt sugar hexagonal columns that slowly liquify during the show relate to the volcanic creation of the natural columns called Giant’s Causeway in Northern Ireland. In Geode, acrylic yarn is crocheted using a hyperbolic techique in order to represent layers of precipitation that form in gas pockets of basaltic lava. A large piece, Float, is hand stitched metallized Tyvek “cloth” that suggests metal that is simultaneously both solid as well as molten liquid. Tabancay gets personal with her scientific slant in a graphic rendering of the molecular structure of an immuno-suppressant pharmaceutical she has been taking for two years due to a lung condition. In the piece, I Breath More Easily Now, the different colors of cast sugar correlate with various oxygenation states in blood and tissue.

About the Artist: Ruth Tabancay’s passion for science led her to study microbiology in college, and after a stint as a hospital laboratory technologist, she went on to medical school. After 11 years in private practice, she left medicine to study art. She is graduate of the University of California, Berkeley; University of California School of Medicine, San Francisco; and California College of the Arts. Her work has been exhibited regionally at the Museum of Craft and Design, Southern Exposure, Bedford Gallery, and the San Jose Museum of Quilts & Textiles and in venues nation-wide. She is a member of Mercury 20 Gallery in Oakland and the Northern California Representative for the Surface Design Association.


  • July 1, First Friday Art Murmur 6-9 pm
  • July 9, Opening Reception 4-6 pm (with artist talks at 4:30)
  • July 21, Third Thursday Art Walk 6-8 pm
  • Aug 5, First Friday Art Murmur 6-9 pm

Mercury 20 Gallery

475 25th Street, Oakland CA 94612
Tel: 510-701-4620

Gallery hours: Friday + Saturday: 12-5pm and by appt