Celebrating the Life & Art of Ruth and John Waddell


Mary D. Fisher Theatre Fri, Nov 11, 2022 7:00 PM
Film Info
Event Type:Celebrate Ruth Waddell's 97th Birthday
Special Event


All birthday celebrations are special—but a fête to be held at the Mary Fisher Theater on Friday, November 11, to honor Ruth Waddell’s 97th birthday will be extraordinary.

Ruth, a matriarch of the Sedona art community, will make an exceptional public appearance to talk with the audience that evening.  (Because of her age and CoVid concerns, she rarely leaves her peaceful, isolated ranch where she has lived and created art alongside her late husband, John, for 50 years.)

Attendees also will see “Rising,” an award-winning documentary film, that takes viewers “behind the scenes,” into the studio on their rural property, during John’s 13-year immersion into creating his masterpiece, the culmination of his career, a monumental 30-piece bronze relief sculpture, called Rising. 

Following the film, the audience will participate in a dialogue with Amy Waddell, Ruth and John’s daughter, who wrote and produced the film.  

Next, there will be an exciting live auction to sell a tender, intimate, and joyful piece of bronze sculpture, created by John Waddell, called “Reclining Mother and Babe.”  Ruth donated it to serve as a fund-raiser for the Sedona Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, the faith community in which John and Ruth participated regularly for three decades.  This work is valued at $3,800, but its actual sale price will be determined only after a lively exchange of bids that evening.

John’s sculptures were the best-known art works created on their Page Springs ranch.  However, since 1996, and especially in last decade, Ruth has resumed the art career that she began as a teen, evolved at the Chicago Art Institute, where she and John met, and has been refining ever since.  Eight of her finest pastels and watercolor works in recent years will be available for viewing (and for purchase) at this birthday celebration.  

Moreover, Ruth agreed to have prints made from an especially appealing pastel, called “Star Flowers,” as a SUUF fund-raiser.  These can be purchased very reasonably to serve as an attractive addition to the art in your home, or as a gift to share with family and friends this holiday season. 

Tickets for this multi-faceted, once-in-a-lifetime event are $20 in advance and $25 at the door. 

Ruth’s art work will be on display from 6:00 p.m. and the film will begin at 7:00 p.m. on Friday, November 11th.