Spark and Echo Arts is excited to feature a new painting, From the North by Seth Ruggles Hiler. Seth created the work in response to Jeremiah 13:20 while exploring the theme “Sheep.”

The inspiration for this painting comes from Seth’s surroundings. As a child, he grew up on a New Jersey farm surrounded by animals. His spiritual background in Anglicanism and Methodism and his passionate involvement with the LGBT community harmonizes with his creative drive for expression and his academic training. His work has a classical sensibility with contemporary color and composition.  He strives to go beyond creating likeness or surface description by expressing a momentary relationship to the subject, informed by a collection of past experiences.

click image to zoom 
Seth Ruggles Hiler, From the North, 2012, oil on canvas, 30 x 40 inches

About the painting: The landscape in this image was taken from a snapshot of the Appalachian trail above the frost line, reminding Seth of Jeremiah’s note about the flock coming down “from the north.” Remembering his visit to a sheep field in Martha’s Vineyard, Seth notes that animals have always held a tender spot in his heart. Reflecting on the ironic relationship between (biblical) sheep and their Shepherd, Seth’s landscapes, portraits and collaborations often simultaneously explore ideas about the exceptional and the mundane.

When viewed through human lenses, Seth sees in an anomaly in the relationship of the Shepherd and his sheep: that such a vulnerable animal would have implicit trust in its leader, following unquestionably. And so, the surrounding verses in Jeremiah’s passage hint that there may be some trouble for this flock.

Jeremiah 13:20 KJV “Lift up your eyes, and behold them that come from the north:
where is the flock that was given thee, thy beautiful flock?”


Seth Ruggles Hiler received a BFA in painting from Syracuse University in 2002 and an  MFA from the New York Academy of Art in 2005.  He maintains a studio in Boonton, NJ and is a professor at Bard High School Early College in Newark, New Jersey. Seth’s work has been exhibited at galleries and institutions throughout the North East and in Ontario, Canada, including the Morris Museum in New Jersey, New York City’s Salmagundi Club and Syracuse University.  In 2010, the Monmouth Museum of Art featured his work in the solo exhibition “NJ Emerging Artists Series: Seth Ruggles Hiler – Portraits.”  Read more about his process on his 2010 Plein Air excursion through New England, and a sweet note about “the Sabbath.” The premiere of “Ash Unravel,” a dance and drawing collaboration with dancer/choreographer Michael Caldwell, was presented in Toronto in 2011 at the Dance Made in Canada Festival.  Guerilla Gallery in Newark, NJ presented “CROPPED, An Intimate View,” a solo show of large graphite portraits in September 2011.
See more of Seth’s work at

Seth also has a number of exhibitions on view:

“SOLOS” curated by Ricardo Francis
Friday May 11, 2012, 6 – 9 PM until Friday June 8, 2012
Gallery 32, Hudson Pride Connections Center, 32 Jones St., Jersey City, NJ 07306

“Back to the Light”
June 7, 2012 7pm with music by Avelon (May 16 – June 30, 2012)
Right Angle Uptown, 320 Washington Street, Hoboken, New Jersey

“New York Academy of Art Alumni – A One-Night Exhibition & Reception”
Thursday, May 10, 2012,  6 – 9 PM
ING DIRECT NYC Café, 968 3rd Avenue at 58th Street, New York, NY
Space is limited, RSVP required:

Image is copyrighted by the artist and used here by permission.
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