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Ruth Abernethy


Ruth Abernethy was born in Lindsay Ontario. Hired for professional theatre at age 17, she subsequently studied at Malaspina College (University) in Nanaimo, British Columbia. At age 21, Ruth was Head of Props at the Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre (MB) and joined the Stratford Festival (ON) where she received an unsolicited Guthrie Award in 1981. Ruth has worked with most of Canada's regional theatres, the Louisville (US) and National Ballets (CAN), executing and managing work for renowned international designers. She received Canada Council support for pursuing arts explorations in Japan and Europe in 1985.


Her refined method of mapping and carving figures led to the commissioning of 'Glenn' (Gould) at CBC, Toronto in 1999, the first of numerous distinctive public portraits including Mackenzie King, John Hirsch and Arnold Palmer. A bronze portrait of Al Waxman was acquired for the National Portrait Collection, 2003 and her figure portrait of Oscar Peterson was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II in 2010.


Each studio work evolves from a conceptual conversation, within which, countering ideas are distilled to potent, well-structured forms. The process of creation is fundamentally abstracted, even if the resultant sculpture is perceived as a literal rendering. With great regard for the public audience, Ruth encompasses studied regard for playful thought and timeless paradoxes, seeking to create moments of personal encounter that linger in the imagination.


Ruth divides her time between studios in Wellesley ON and Vancouver BC.  

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