Based in his hometown of London, Ontario, Ron Benner is a visual artist, curator, activist, gardener and adjunct professor in Visual Arts at Western University, London, Ontario. He was the first artist manager of the Forest City Gallery (1980-81) and co-founder of the Embassy Cultural House (1983-1990). He has exhibited his work nationally and internationally. His works are in numerous public collections, including the National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa the Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto, the McIntosh Gallery, The University of Western Ontario, Museum London, London, Ontario and the Casa de Las Americas, Havana, Cuba. In 2008 Museum London published a bilingual book on Benner’s garden installations, titled, Ron Benner: Gardens of a Colonial Present. He is the recipient of numerous awards including the Chalmers Art Fellowship (2004), the Canada Council for the Arts international residency program, La Cité Internationale des Arts, Paris, France (2000- 01). His garden installations have been presented in sites across Canada and in Salamanca and Seville, Spain. His most recent garden installation was installed in Xi’an, China in 2014 as part of the Transformation of Canadian Landscape Art: The Inside and Outside of Being. An exhibition of his work, titled Three Questions, curated by Julian Haladyn was presented at McIntosh Gallery, Western University, London, Ontario, in Jan. 2015.
Eleven photographic murals printed from photos I took of two pumas in the Zoo of the Jardin de Plantes, Paris, France in July 1984 were enlarged and installed on the clay cliffs, Pearce Park, Lake Erie, Ontario in September 1984. In 1985, photographs of these murals on the clay cliffs of lake Erie were enlarged and installed on the walls of the Wellington Street railway underpass in London, Ontario in Sept. 1985. This new work presents all 11 images with text and image of the racoon in one work.