Ron Hayes opened Art Can Gallery in Canning in 2001 and has been actively involved in the support and promotion of the arts in the Annapolis Valley, most recently as Chair of the Alliance of Kings Artists (AKA) Board of Directors. Ron completed his Masters degree in Expressive Arts Therapy in Switzerland in 1999 and continues to teach painting at Acadia University. He has exhibited in New York City, Zurich, Switzerland, Acadia University Art Gallery and Harvest Gallery in Wolfville, Nova Scotia.
I’ve been a member of VANS for over a decade. I joined after moving to Nova Scotia from Toronto in the 1990’s. My new home on the Minas Basin in the Annapolis Valley is in Kingsport. The population of only two hundred people so I needed some help finding other artists in the area. VANS is a great resource for meeting other artists. After a more few years I become the Annapolis Valley West representative on VANS Board of Directors.
What has most influenced my work has been seeing various places both across Canada and the world. Painting en plein air is central to my work so traveling and discovering the enormous variety of landscapes each area offers is very exciting.
The challenge of being an artist for me is to find the time to paint each day. I rarely wait for inspiration. When I have the materials and the easel in front of me always something is possible. Not all work is successful but everything seems to lead to more discoveries.
Within my latest artistic direction I have made a shift towards work that is more conceptually based. My aspiration is to create art which is both thought provoking and visually stimulating. I have drawn from a variety of influences in modern culture for motivation and inspiration.
The central idea which fueled this new endeavor came to me through the media and the recent attention given to the world financial markets. I started to consider the movement of commodities and the nature of trade, how we are all connected and ultimately effected by this exchange. The themes of currency and exchange are both relevant to our time and international in scope.
I recently had a solo exhibition of these works entitled Currency at the Gladstone on Queen Street West in Toronto. Using plastic cards as the symbol for currency invigorated multiple paths. Blank cards are painted and applied to create collages, paintings and 3 dimensional relief panels. The series is broad in scope but remains cohesive through a central concept.
Another project that I’ve been involved in is “Uncommon Common Art”. Artist’s in King’s County for the last 5 years have created work from an array of materials either found in their studio or from nature. Often a combination of the two. The pieces are then presented at various outdoor sites. A map is produced for the public to use as a guide to find the sculptures throughout the valley. This annual event takes place from June to September.