Ruth Beer is a Vancouver-based artist and academic whose practice includes sculpture, video, and interactive media, and whose recent work investigates the contested geographies and materialities of resource extraction, particularly in the context of rural and remote communities of the Pacific Northwest. Ruth has previously served as PI on other SSHRC-funded research and creation projects such as Catch and Release: Mapping Cultural and Geographic Transitions, which centred upon the demise of the Pacific salmon canning industry, and Trading Routes: Grease Trails, Oil Futures, which addressed the overlapping terrains of historic oolichan oil trade routes and modern petrochemical pipelines. A member of the Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts, Ruth’s work has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions worldwide, including those at the Vancouver Art Gallery, Raglan Street Gallery (Melbourne), Bellevue Museum (Washington), and Nordic House (Iceland). Ruth is Professor of Visual Art at Emily Carr University of Art and Design.
Ruth Beer’s interdisciplinary artistic research is informed by the social sciences and humanities within the expanded field of contemporary art and media. Working across forms and media that include sculpture, experimental and documentary video, woven structures/textiles, and sound, her research-creation practice engages with issues of cultural and ecological impacts of resource industry expansion within culturally diverse communities—in particular, rural Indigenous and non-Indigenous communities in Canada’s northern regions. Recent SSHRC-funded research-creation projects as Principal Investigator include Trading Routes: Grease Trails, Oil Pipelines (2013-2015) and Catch and Release: Mapping Stories of Cultural and Geographic Transition (2009-2013). Ruth’s has been exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in national and international museums and galleries including the Vancouver Art Gallery, Contemporary Art Gallery, Surrey Art Gallery, The Reach Museum, Bellevue Museum WA, and Nordic House, Iceland.