TINY but powerful is how artist Charmaine Kelly described Women In Art Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago (WIAOTT) founder, the late Fraulein Rudder.
Rudder, 91, died on January 27 after a long illness. Her funeral will be held this February 3 at 11.30 am at Clark and Battoo funeral home in Port of Spain.
Rudder was a teacher and an artist who painted in alkyd. She designed the covers of several local textbooks and instituted the WIAOTT biennial art competition for Forms Five and Six students. She also produced and published the coffee table book, Women in Art 2000, highlighting 38 local women artists.
WIAOTT member and friend Charmaine Kelly told Newsday Rudder was her teacher at St Theresa's Girls' Intermediate RC School, Woodbrook, from standards one to five and she joined the art organisation a few years after its inception in 1996.
She said Rudder found women in art were not getting enough exposure or chances to show their talent so she, along with Karen Sylvester, created a space to help women explore, discover and develop their artistic talent.
“She was always someone who looked out for and encouraged women artists as well as up-and-coming art students in secondary school by having a bi-annual art competition.
“She was a mother, friend and confidant. You couldn’t ask for a better, more dedicated leader. She had a library of art books at her home which she encouraged her members to come and view, read and borrow but bring back.
“She was a petite woman. She taught well and she generally took care of and cared for us women and her students.”
Kelly said Rudder also played the piano and sang well. She was well-spoken, astute, confident, and was proud of who she was, what she stood for and what she did for women in art, and aspiring artists and students.
Rudder was survived by her three daughters Simone, Michelle and Charmaine.