Artist and sculptor

Ruth Abernethy was born in Lindsay Ontario, into an artful, inventive and musical family and an unusual upbringing on a truly 'mixed' farm.

mock Ruth Abernethy at Weston Golf and Country Club with her Arnold Palmer's portrait to celebrate the 50th anniversary of his first pro tournament victory.

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 Ballet (CAN), executing and managing work for renowned international designers. She received Canada Council support for pursuing arts explorations in Japan and Europe in 1985.

Ruth designed an off-the-grid home, launched her solo art practice and was invited for studio sessions with with actor/artist Anthony Quinn following her first bronze commission in 1996.

Her refined method of mapping and carving figures led to the commissioning of:
  • 'Glenn' (Gould) at CBC, Toronto, 1999
  • Mackenzie King
  • John Hirsch
  • Arnold Palmer
  • A bronze portrait of Al Waxman was acquired for the National Portrait Collection, 2003
  • Figure portrait of Oscar Peterson was unveiled by Queen Elizabeth II, 2010

Ruth Abernethy at work

Ruth's sculptures were juried into exhibitions in:

  • Ireland
  • United States
  • Shortlisted in Chandler, Arizona, 2001
  • Awarded a Canadian Consulate bursary as the first Canadian artist to exhibit with Sculpture-by-the-Sea in Sydney, Australia, 2005
  • Invited for a return to the Casuarina Sculpture Walk in Australia, 2006
  • The only Canadian short-listed artist in the Beijing Olympic Sculpture contest, Ruth was also awarded an Award of Excellence. Her submission was included in an international exhibit, touring Europe, US and London UK prior to the opening of the 2008 games
  • Her sculptures have been placed municipally, regionally and nationally and she's been awarded numerous private commissions

In addition to portraiture, Ruth's studio works combine:

  • Textiles
  • Hand-made lace
  • Stainless steel

Ruth lives near Wellesley, ON with her husband and two sons.