096 From the convent to the art world: The journey of artist Anabel Ruiz

In this podcast episode, Sergio Gomez chats with Miami-based artist Anabel Ruiz about her life’s journey and the transition from convent life to the art world. They discussed art, faith, love for people and how to overcome obstacles. It is a fascinating story of resilience and love for art.


Sergio Gomez and Anabel Ruiz meet in Miami during Art Basel week 2016.

Anabel was born in La Habana, Cuba, in 1974, in a Cuba that was picturesque, quirky and resourceful – a Cuba that laughed through the pain – characteristics that are reflected in her own persona.  Her family left Cuba for Spain when she was 9, and there her father secured a scholarship for her to a private Catholic school.

It was here that she began to acquire her appreciation for art, at that time mostly for the great classic artists and their works; and it was here that her formation as a self-taught artist commenced.

She was uprooted again at 14 when her family moved to the US, to Miami, like so many other Cuban exiles, to make a new life.

Her high school education complete, she studied Business Administration, deaf to the voice of her soul that constantly reminded her that her passion is art and that her life should follow that passion.  And so she graduated from college very well prepared to “make a living”, but empty and dissatisfied; knowing  that making a living is not equal to living itself, but blind to her true calling and not knowing where to turn. In the midst of this existential search for meaning her life suddenly took a 180 degree turn and she decided to become a nun, entering religious life.

She entered two different congregations in different parts of the world, first in Miami, followed by service in Fatima, Portugal.  During eight years of religious service, bound by vows of obedience, chastity and poverty, she anonymously produced dozens of art works in different mediums; works that currently grace churches, convents and the homes of private church patrons.

In 2011, after much soul searching, she envisioned a different future for herself and left religious lif    e, returning to Miami, to face new challenges and create a new future – a future where her art, now free and without restrictions, truly reflects the journey to self-acceptance that has been her life.

Today Anabel lives with her partner and their two dogs in the Miami area.

Artist website: http://www.aruizart.com

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