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The Ruby is a catalyst for creativity and a home for making art at Duke.

Growing Community in the Ruby

Ruby Fridays are casual art talks offered at noon most Fridays during the semester in the Rubenstein Arts Center’s Ruby Lounge. The series is organized by staff of Duke Arts and the Rubenstein Arts Center, and is designed to connect art making across disciplines and spaces. Speakers include Duke faculty and students who are creating or exhibiting work in the Ruby, visiting artists from far and wide, and local creatives. The series launched in Sep 2018, included a partnership with American Dance Festival in Summer 2019, and is resuming on Sep 6, 2019.

Man speaking to a room full of people seated at round tables
Ruby Friday with faculty sculptor Stephen Hayes. All photos by Robert Zimmerman.

Spring 2019

Conversations after the presentation
After the American Ballet Theatre talk.

January 18, 2019

The State of the Art of Ballet

A conversation between award-winning choreographer Stefanie Batten Bland—at Duke to create a new dance on the American Ballet Theatre’s Studio Company—and the company’s artistic director, Sasha Radetsky.

Colorfully dressed violist and bassist playing together
Stephanie Griffin and Hilliard Greene.

January 25, 2019

Community as Creator: Contrasting Experiences, New Sounds

Bassist Hilliard Greene and violist Stephanie Griffin create musical improvisations that bridge the jazz and classical music traditions. They’ll discuss their work together and create new music on the spot.

Puppeteer circulating through the audience
Tarish "Jeghetto" Pipkins works the room.

February 1, 2019

Puppeteer Tarish “Jeghetto” Pipkins

Learn about the art and artistry of renowned Durham-based puppeteer Tarish “Jeghetto” Pipkins and watch him bring some of his fabulous creations to life.

February 8, 2019

The Calla Campaign: The Art of Self-Exploration

Students involved in the Calla Campaign will talk about how a new medical device became the basis for an exhibit focused on self-exploration and what was learned along the way.

Fick and Kuzemchak posing
Duke alum Rebecca Kuzemchak with her former professor, Bill Fick.

February 15, 2019

Finding Why: Art Making After Duke

Visual artist and Duke alumna Rebecca Kuzemchak will talk about her experiences making art at Duke and her evolving sense of purpose as an artist.

February 22, 2019

The Least of These: Personal Icons Made Public

William Paul Thomas presenting
Painter William Paul Thomas discussing his portrait series Cyanosis.

As part of a creative residency in the Ruby, painter William Paul Thomas will illuminate the ties and distinctions between three ongoing projects.

March 1, 2019

Photographer Jess T. Dugan

Meet photographer Jess T. Dugan and learn about her exhibit To Survive on This Shore: Photographs and Interviews with Transgender and Gender Nonconforming Older Adults, currently on display in the Rubenstein Library.

March 22, 2019

Esther Gabara: The Making of Pop América

Esther Gabara, professor of Romance Studies and Art, Art History & Visual Studies at Duke, gives insights into the development of Pop América, 1965-1975, an exhibition of nearly 100 works by Latino/a and Latin American Pop artists currently on view at the Nasher Museum of Art.

March 29, 2019

Sculptor Stephen Hayes

Hayes, a Durham native currently teaching sculpture at Duke, will talk about his journey as an artist and his work, including his touring memorial to African lives consumed by the Atlantic slave trade.

Tsaplina presenting
Marina Tsaplina with puppets.

April 5, 2019

Puppetry and the Healing Arts

Meet Marina Tsaplina, artist lead of Duke’s Reimagine Medicine project, and learn about the unique role puppetry can play in deepening the perception of how imagination, emotion, and history live in the human body.

April 12, 2019

Environmental Imagery: Effective Messaging with Artistic Media

Chatting after a presentation
Cameron Oglesby meets the audience.

In a talk coinciding with the third annual Enviro-Art Gallery, creator and curator Cameron Oglesby will share what she’s learned about raising environmental awareness with art.

April 19, 2019

Experiments from DocX at the Center for Documentary Studies

Learn about the latest from DocX, the digital lab at the Center for Documentary Studies, including a new website with an analog feel that showcases decades of the Center’s best work.

Fall 2018

Presenting and pointing to a slide
Duke graduate student Quran Karriem talking electronics at the very first Ruby Friday.

September 7, 2018


Join Quran Karriem and Rebecca Uliasz, graduate students in Duke’s Computational Media, Arts and Cultures program, for a demonstration and discussion of SYNTHBALL, their new real-time gestural controller for audio-visual software.

September 14, 2018


Join Duke faculty filmmaker Shambhavi Kaul for lunch and an introduction to her immersive video installation in the Ruby, then visit “airplane space” with its creator as your guide. [Cancelled due to a weather emergency.]

September 21, 2018

Art Talk With Édouard Duval-Carrié

Join distinguished Haitian sculptor and painter Édouard Duval-Carrié for lunch as he reflects on the many representations of trees in his work.

Listening to artist explanation in exhibit space
The talk on Cornered concluded with a visit to the installation.

September 28, 2018


Experience Cornered, a multimedia tribute to migrants trying to navigate the dangerous chokepoints between Moroccan and Spanish territory, by Duke animator and video artist Raquel Salvatella de Prada.

October 12, 2018

Art Talk With Tessa Mars

Meet Haitian visual artist Tessa Mars during her residency at the Ruby—part of the Visionary Aponte project.

Phone held up to take video of the presentation
Saving a snippet of Ge Wang to savor later.

October 19, 2018

Artful Design with Ge Wang

Join Duke Computer Science alum and Stanford music professor Ge Wang for lunch and a discussion of his new book, Artful Design: Technology in Search of the Sublime.

October 26, 2018

Meet the Man Behind the Art-o-mat®

Clark Whittington is the Winston-Salem based entrepreneur who has made it possible to buy little packages of art from an old cigarette machine.

November 9, 2018

Art of a Scientist

Last summer in the Ruby, three graduate students in the biological sciences presented an exhibition highlighting the beauty and creativity of scientific imagery. Join one of the curators for lunch and learn all about it.

November 16, 2018

Serving Life

Learn about an exhibit of art created by men on death rows across the country, currently on view in the Ruby and Duke Chapel.

November 30, 2018

Watercolors in Motion

Join Bioengineering grad student Christopher Lam for a lunchtime presentation on the marriage he’s engineered between watercolors and technology.

Tune into events & opportunities!

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