Cruz is a fine art woodworker and muralist, living one and a half hours north of Philadelphia. As a leading wood stain artist, she creates works on two and three dimensional wood substrates. As a muralist she enjoys the colorful large canvas walls and architecture can be.
In her woodwork there is a reverence for the tree and a conscious-awareness, often creating pieces that give a tree a third chance at life. She has coined this quality in her work as "Wàsayū” (wah-sah-yoo), inspired by Japanese perspectives that contrast to the western view of beauty. This view celebrates the beauty of natural age and passing of time. 'Wàsayū' means: profound grace in obscured transient beauty.
Cruz reveals the hidden and often ephemeral moments of life, in realism and in abstract, to awaken the viewer to remembrance of stillness, calm, and wholeness. Offering an opportunity into present-moment awareness, and its power to heal, bring joy and fulfilled purpose to the experience of life.
Born in 1972 in the South Bronx, moved around the United States before settling in New Jersey
in 1996. At the age of six began drawing in a realist style. Innately drawn to tools and wood finishes, she began working with them at age ten.
Exhibiting her work as early as 1988, she then earned her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1994. Her works are in national and international private collections.
Several life-shifting events contributed to Cruz’s development of original methods and techniques with wood stain, GrainStain Arts®. Working as a muralist has brought scale to her stain work, opening creative avenues to marry both these mediums into functional compositions within architectural spaces.
It is the source of all true art and science.
Paier College of Art Inc - 1994
2021 Group Show, “ArtPrize 2021”,
ArtPrize, Grand Rapids MI
2018 Group Show, “THAT - The Hunterdon Art Tour”,
Hunterdon Art Museum, Clinton NJ
2017 Solo Exhibition, “the new BLACK —VOLUNTEERISM”,
Alvin H. Butz Gallery at ArtsQuest's SteelStacks, Bethlehem PA
Traveling exhibition that gives testament to the amazing giving capacity
of the human spirit. Using art and narrative, it explores the unseen
rewards TO the volunteer.
2015 Solo Project. Habitat for Humanity, "First Light"
Habitat of the Lehigh Valley, Bethlehem PA
Utilitarian table and fine art work. Reconstruction of a pocket door into a table.
The bloom on the face is the flower 'from' the cactus painted on the underside.
2014 Group Show, “The Art of the Flower Exhibition”,
Philadelphia Sketch Club, Philadelphia PA
2014 Group Show, “To Plaid or Not to Plaid”,
The Gallery at St. John's, Easton PA
2014 Group Show*, “Member's Art Exhibition”,
Artsbridge Group, Lambertville NJ
2007 Solo Exhibition, “The Open Door"
Paula at Rigoletto, Weehawken NJ
1994 Group Show, “Alumni Show"
Paier College of Art, Hamden CT
1992 Public Art Project. Collaborative.
City of Meriden, Meriden CT
Design and concept development of an 11’ wooden archway of an annual public
community event. As well as life-size reproduction of wooden storybook
characters for children’s reading area.
*The piece entered in this show was a monochromatic brown work. It sold within fifteen minutes of the show's opening.