Trotter shares recent work, reflects on ULV career

Ruth Trotter, professor of art, gives her final lecture Tuesday in the Quay Davis Executive Board Room before she leaves for retirement. Trotter shared the process in creating her art and the meaning behind her recent work that is being exhibited on campus. / photo by Litsy Tellez

Ramon Morales
Staff Writer

Ruth Trotter, professor of art emeritus, who retired earlier this year after more than 30 years at the University, delivered her final faculty lecture titled “Recent Work: My Last Lecture” to an audience of about 30 students and faculty on Tuesday in the Quay Davis Executive Board Room.

Trotter began by talking about her recent artwork, and she explained how she develops her paintings. During the second part of her talk, she gave some final advice and words of wisdom for colleagues. 

She explained that she believes there are three things that are most important in a painting. They are first, the material and aesthetic of the painting; second, the space and the illusion of depth; and finally, the quality of presence of the work and its effect on viewers.

“I want my paintings to make you gasp,” Trotter said. “I want the viewer to stop breathing when they see my work.”

She said some of her recent work was inspired by the novel “Moby Dick.” 

Much of her recent work involves depth of illusion and cool blues. She displayed some of these paintings, embedded in the lecture PowerPoint, captivating the audience.

“Ruth, your blues are incredible,” said Reed Gratz, professor of music, who attended the Tuesday talk.

Despite all of her beautiful works of art and artistic accomplishments, it became clear that some of her best work was the impact that she has made on the University of La Verne community.

Trotter thanked her department, University colleagues and others throughout the lecture, making sure that the audience knew how important they were throughout her time here at the University.

And she offered some parting thoughts and advice. 

She advised faculty colleagues to be generous with students and colleagues, and with themselves. Be generous with praise, wisdom and kindness, she said. 

“Everyone is unique and a gift to the University,” Trotter said. “At the end of the day, it’s all about the students, and it’s all about the work.”

Jon Leaver, professor of art history and chairman of the department of art and art history, thanked Trotter. 

“Ruth, thank you for a typically thought-provoking, rich talk,” Leaver said. “It brings up to me what we’re going to miss.”

Ramon Morales can be reached at

Ramon Morales, a senior communications major with an concentration in public affairs, is a staff writer for the Campus Times.

Litsy Tellez is a junior photography major and a staff photographer for the Campus Times and La Verne Magazine.


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