Interview with Gallery A artist Ruth Read

Ruth Read was our Art Lab artist in residence from March 30 until April 22. She began her project Nine Empty Rooms during her residency and now is transforming the space of Gallery A with an immersive installation project. We sat down with the artist to ask her about her practice. Join Ruth for an artist talk on May 15 from 1-3pm and learn more! 

Ruth Read received her BFA (sculpture) from Queen’s University, Kingston, Ontario. Since then she has exhibited in both group and solo shows at The Station Gallery, Whitby, the Robert McLaughlin Gallery, Oshawa, the Visual Arts Centre, Clarington, and the Latcham Gallery, Stouffville, as well as other galleries in Ontario and St. John’s, Newfoundland. She has taught art classes at The Station Gallery, the Haliburton School of the Arts, the Visual Arts Centre, Clarington and for Fleming College.

installation in gallery

Nine Empty Rooms, Ruth Read, installation progress

The RMG: Hi Ruth! Tell us a little about yourself – when did you start making art?

Ruth Read: I started drawing seriously when I was about nine years old. My best friend liked to draw too. We took Saturday morning art classes from local artist Molly Greene Mitchell.

Later, when I was in high school, I went to the Doone Summer School of the Arts, the former home of Canadian artist Homer Watson. A working scholarship allowed me to take classes from professional artists in the afternoons when chores were done. Here I was introduced to artist quality watercolours. I worked predominately in w/c for the next 20 years.

After high school, I went to Queen’s U, Kingston where I received my BFA, sculpture major. And learned to drink coffee and beer.

art installation

Nine Empty Rooms, Ruth Read, installation progress

RMG: Who influences you and your work?

RR: I have continued to study drawing and painting between and around various jobs. Artists such as Peter Kolisnyk, Akira Yoshikawa, Joan Krawcyk and Ted Rettig have had great influence on my practice.

RMG: We’re so excited about your installation in Gallery A! How’s it coming?

RR: I started putting ceiling frames together. My brother lent me some corner clamps- fantastic, they really make the job easier.

art installation

Nine Empty Rooms, Ruth Read, installation progress