Almost, almost too close to Matisse.
  • Almost, almost too close to Matisse.

Ruthie V. has a cool name, but she is not a cool artist. First, the name: She says it's just what people have always called her (her full name is not a secret; it's Sarah Ruth Vergin). Now for the rest. Her website is forthcoming about her work as a "color consultant": She will be your home or office decorator if you would like that. Curators everywhere can be heard gasping.

On top of this, for anyone who visits her solo show this month at Shift Studio in Pioneer Square, she'll do an on-the-spot portrait painting, or snap a picture if you'd rather pick up your painting later: She'll be your caricaturist-on-the-fly, like a boothie at a street fair. Furthermore, she's giving them away for free. For free. [Editor's note: Due to the overwhelming response, Ruthie V. had to try to slow it down with a $25 fee: She's done dozens so far. Still, it's a great deal.] Does she not value herself? My god!