About The Artist

Ketsy 'Sketzii' Ruiz, a painter, digital illustrator, & muralist, conveys her ethnic identity and culture in her art. Growing up in the Puerto Rican diaspora of the United States greatly inspires her work. As a self proclaimed "military brat" she was raised in the subculture of the nomadic Army family. Living all over the US she was constantly seeking community and found diaspora Latinx wherever she traveled to. Her art is an ode to these diasporas that often feel left out of the narrative while longing for a connection to home, longing for a connection to their culture.

Ketsy received her BFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design in 2010. She is a Creative Pinellas Emerging Artist Grant recipient (2022) , Emerging Artist Program recipient of the Gasparilla Festival of the Arts (2023), and recipient of the Hispanics in Philanthropy Líderes Fellowship (2022). Ketsy has exhibited in several group shows throughout Pinellas and Hillsborough County, FL and is a Resident Artist and Mover at the non-profit organization Mi Gente Mi Pueblo based in the Greater Tampa Bay area. Her fine art lives in private collections throughout the U.S and has private commisioned murals in Florida and Hatillo, Puerto Rico. Ketsy paints under the name "Sketzii" and continues to build on her body of work in St. Pete, Florida. 

Artist's Note:

I convey the many facets of Puerto Rican ethnic identity and Latin culture in my work. I take photographs while traveling, research, learn, and connect with the people of these diasporas and communities to inspire a reference or a new body of work. My mission is to tell our stories and for this reason my work is aesthetically illustrative with culturally inspired color stories. 

CV:

Exhibitions
2022 Joy to the Wayworld, Group Exhibition, The Factory, St Petersburg FL
2022 White Art Exhibition, Group Exhibition, Ekeko Gallery, St Petersburg FL
2022 8 is Great, Group Exhibition, Museum of Science and Industry (MOSI), Tampa FL
2022 Aqui Esta Mi Gente: Diaspora Latina, Group Exhibition, Studios5663, Pinellas Park FL
2022 Color Vibes, Group Exhibition, The Art Lofts, St Petersburg FL
2022 A State of Mind, Group Exhibition, Mize Gallery, St Petersburg FL
2022 Emerging Artist Exhibition, Group Exhibition, The Gallery at Creative Pinellas, Largo FL
2021 Get Naked, Group Exhibition, Ekeko Gallery, St Petersburg FL
2021 Voces Latinas/Latinx Group Exhibition, Studios5663, Pinellas Park FL
2021 ¿Y Como Está Mi Gente?, Group Exhibition, Tully Levine Gallery, St Petersburg FL
2021
Masterworks, Group Exhibition, Ekeko Gallery, St Petersburg FL
2021 Muddy Water Kava Group Exhibition, Gallery at Muddy Water Kava, St Petersburg FL
2020
Latinx Presente!, Group Exhibition, Ekeko Gallery, St Petersburg FL
2010
{id} entity, Group Exhibition, Savannah GA
2009
Taste Art Event, Group Exhibition, Savannah GA

Projects/Pop-Ups/Sponsorships
2022 “Aquí Está Mi Gente: Diáspora Latina”, Mi Gente Mi Pueblo, St Petersburg FL, Artist Panel Talk Curator, Exhibition Curator, and Social Media Strategist for 3rd Annual Movida, Center for Health Equity & Studios 5663
2022 “Hispanic Outreach 10th Annual Luncheon”, Hispanic Outreach Center, Safety Harbor FL, featured artist Sketzii
2022 “Chinchorreo Fest”, Boricuas En NC non-profit organization, Fayetteville NC, Participating artist Sketzii
2022 “Piedmont Park Arts Festival”, Arts Coast Artist, Atlanta GA, Sketzii sponsored by Visit St. Pete Clearwater (VSPC) and Creative Pinellas
2022 “Pride at The Village”, Pinellas Arts Village, Pinellas Park FL, Sketzii Participating Vendor
2021 “Latinx Celebration at The Village”, Studios5663, Pinellas Park FL, Sketzii Participating Vendor
2021 "Return to Nature” Wellness Retreat, TruClarity Wellness, Glen Burnie MD, Sponsorship by Sketzii, donation of “Colores De Mi Tierra” coloring books for guests of the retreat
2021 Casa Grande Gift Shop, Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, Utuado PR Sketzii, Wholesale Supplier of “Colores De Mi Tierra” coloring books
2021 Batey Girls non-profit organization, Batey Rehab Project, Winter Haven FL Sponsorship by Sketzii, donation of “Colores De Mi Tierra” coloring books to the human trafficking survivors living at the Batey Girls safe house
2018 -2021 Batey Girls non-profit organization, Batey Rehab Project, Winter Haven FL Collaborating Artist on the Sketzii Collection, painting one of a kind, hand crafted earrings in collaboration with the women at BateyGirls.org to support them as survivors of human trafficking in Barahona DR

Articles/Interviews/Speaking Engagements
2022 Hispanic Heritage Excellence Award Program, St. Petersburg College, Seminole Campus, Keynote Speaker for Dr. Vilma Fernandez-Zalupski Academic Excellence Awards
2022 Zambombazo, Digital Magazine, Interview/Article by Zachary & Betsy Jones  “Ketsy Ruiz: ‘Mi upbringing en Estados Unidos y Puerto Rico as a preteen’”
2022 The Culture Marauders, Podcast interview as special guest featuring Sketzii
2022 LatinX Radio, WMNFTampa 88.5 FM, Interview as special guest local artist featuring Ketsy Ruiz
2022 Tampa Bay Times, Newspaper and Online, Interview/Article by Maggie Duffy “Creative Pinellas’ Emerging Artist Grants open doors”/“Meet two of Creative Pinellas’ Emerging Artist Grant Recipients”
2022 Emerging Artist Talks, The Gallery at Creative Pinellas, for Emerging Artist Grant promo, Public Q&A featuring Sketzii
2021 CR8TIVE CHAT with Kat, @katblouchart on IG LIVE, Interview for “Cr8tive Chat” Artist Series featuring Sketzii
2021 Latinas Virtual, @latinasvirtual on Instagram Interview for “Jefa Jueves” featuring Sketzii
2021 Freedom Revamped, @freedomrevamped on Instagram Interview for "A Woman’s Worth” featuring Sketzii
2020 Estratégia Group, Latinx Presenté! Group Exhibition, Ekeko Gallery, St Pete FL Interview for “Latinx Presenté: Virtual Festival of the Arts” featuring Sketzii
2020 Come Out St Pete, Artistry Apartments, St Petersburg FL Interview Live Streamed for “Come Out St Pete” featuring Sketzii
2020 Tampa-Hillsborough Arts Council, Tampa FL “Shop Small!” feature Sketzii
2016 Mieux Magazine, mieuxmagazine.com, Tampa FL, Article by Emma Sims “Ketsy Ruiz: Culturally Delicious Art”
2009 La Voz Latina, newspaper, Savannah GA, Interview for article “Taste Art Event” featuring Sketzii
2004 Accento Latino, newspaper, Fayetteville NC Original Artwork featured

Workshops
2022 Painting y Perreo, Largo FL, The Gallery at Creative Pinellas in collaboration with Mi Gente Mi Pueblo, Sketzii conducted a Paint and Sip Workshop amplifying diaspora Latinx narratives and building community through learning, authenticity, and celebration of Reggaeton music.
2020-2022 Co-Founder of Mamis + Mimosas, Tampa/Clearwater/St Petersburg FL Cohosted Bi-yearly networking events for womxn creatives, entrepreneurs, and leaders with a focus on the Latinx community.

Professional Affiliations/Memberships
Hispanics in Philanthropy, Lideres Fellowship Cohort 7, hipfunds.org/
Mi Gente Mi Pueblo, Resident Artist,  migentemipueblo.com/artists
Creative Pinellas, Arts Coast Artist & Grantee creativepinellas.org/artist/ketsy-ruiz
Batey Rehab Project (BRP) and Batey Girls, Collaborator & Sponsor, bateygirls.org 
Tru Clarity Wellness, Sponsor truclaritywellness.com
Casa Grande Mountain Retreat, Vendor, casagrandepr.com 
Co.Starters, St Pete Cohort 2021 costarters.co/

Awards
2022 Hispanics in Philanthropy: Lideres Fellowship Cohort 7, National Fellowship 
2022 Emerging Artist Grant Recipient, Creative Pinellas