Arlene Ruiz Isenberg
Position: Visual Arts Teacher – Upper and Middle School
Education: Escuela de Artes Plásticas de Puerto Rico (School of Visual Arts of Puerto Rico)
Bachelor’s degree in Visual Arts with a major in Painting and a minor in Education
Master’s degree in Art Education with a major in Art History
Advanced studies in Estudios Puertorriqueños (Puerto Rican Studies)
Certificate and Post-graduate studies in Museum Studies
Arlene Ruiz found her passion in the arts. She also found a way to help students find their own. Her work has been recognized for its quality and vision since she was a student. She has received several awards for her paintings in exhibits during her undergraduate studies at Escuela de Artes Plásticas, Puerto Rico’s most distinguished school for visual artists. She was also granted a Roche award for young talent in Spain. She worked as a teacher in several private schools in Puerto Rico before moving to Chicago to pursue and complete her studies. Once in Chicago, she started teaching art from Elementary through Upper School levels.
After returning to Puerto Rico in 2012, she decided to apply to Robinson School because it stood out as a perfect union between her education, her experience, and the kind of work she wanted to do: using the Visual Arts as a means for students to creatively express and understand themselves. She is also passionate about highlighting history, culture and identity through visual arts. A few weeks later, she received a call for an interview and has been a part of the Robinson family ever since!
She believes her major contribution to Robinson has been seeing students’ literacy in the Visual Arts develop. “Before I came here student exhibitions hadn’t been taken to the Museo de Arte de Puerto Rico.” She has seen students fall in love with art to the point where they go on to college to keep on studying art. For Arlene, Robinson stands out from other schools because of “the kindness of our students and the dedication they put into their work.”
When she isn’t teaching, she continues her work by illustrating children’s books. A few of the titles she has to her credit include: Yadiel and El secreto published by Taller Salud in Loíza to educate children about abuse. She has also worked extensively illustrating books for Instituto de Cultura Puertorriqueña, including the important title Mitos del pueblo taíno with a prologue written by Mercedes López Baralt.
In her free time she enjoys illustrating books, preparing and participating in art exhibits, crafting metals, reading and watching foreign films. She is now working on the exhibit Puerto Rico Then and Now, which will be presented for parents during this year’s Noche Puertorriqueña.