921 Braddock Summoning 1982 2009

Victoria Hruska and LaToya Ruby Frazier
Gestures 13: July 24, 2009 – January 10, 2010
mixed media

The Mayor of Braddock John Fetterman selected two Braddock resident artists Victoria Hruska b 1921 and LaToya Ruby Frazier b 1982 For their first...


The Mayor of Braddock, John Fetterman selected two Braddock resident artists, Victoria Hruska (b.1921) and LaToya Ruby Frazier (b.1982). For their first site-specific collaboration 1921 Braddock Summoning 1982, Hruska and Frazier transform time, recycled possessions and memories of generational moments and changes; concerning environmental and familial issues in their hometown Braddock. “Recycling, a very popular word today is a simple process of giving materials a second chance. Everyone has creative ability. There is a whole world of possibilities with found items and artistic clutter.” – Victoria Hruska & LaToya Ruby Frazier

As the seventh of eight children Victoria Hruska, a respected Braddock resident at the age of 88, recalls how she constantly found activities to keep herself entertained, through collecting greeting cards and cutting pictures out of magazines and coloring books. She found ways to change and sometimes repair traditional found items. This installation continues her unique vernacular in collaboration with artist LaToya Ruby Frazier.

“Ruby Frazier, LaToya’s grandmother, whose collection of memories is displayed shares the art space here today. Ruby, an attractive lady with a pleasant personality, at age 84, lived close by. Oftentimes with her grandson, J.C., she walked by my home. We exchanged pleasant greetings. I missed seeing her for several months and learned from LaToya that she died in January. I am grateful to LaToya for inviting me to learn more about my friend, Ruby, the Lady with a memorable Past.” — Victoria Hruska, 2009

Artist LaToya Ruby Frazier creates a memorial for her recently deceased grandmother Ruby Frazier (1925 – 2009). The artist explores the shift implicit in her grandmother’s death- a living, shared home environment (transported into the gallery space in Frazier’s first public installation work) becomes an archive of her grandmother’s life and their shared experience. The stories told to Frazier during her childhood now reside in her grandmother’s possessions – Ruby’s bed, her extensive porcelain doll collection and the living-room table and in the artist’s retelling through her exploration of intimate family histories. Frazier places her own video work (which reframes notions of home-video) in conversation with found historical photographs of Braddock, during the height of its growth as a steel city, evoking a fragmented memory of living and dying in the city, of her grandmother’s long life, and the artist’s own upbringing.

About the Artist

LaToya Ruby Frazier (American, b. 1982) attended Edinboro University of PA for her BFA in Applied Media Arts and then went to Syracuse University for her MFA in Art Photography. She focuses on post-modernism conditions and uses this to investigate issues into politics and propaganda.

Victoria Hruska (American, b. 1921) is a respected resident of Braddock, PA.