ARTIST STUDIO SERIES: Ron Simmer

Once a fisherman and academic, Ron is a risk-taker abounded by the precarious nature of the game, the art game! The use of common objects to manipulate reality and make art that sparks memories and retentions of childhood is the driving force behind Ron’s appetite to create art.



Ron encourages interaction with his sculptures, a notion which challenges the common consensus. Ron believes that it is ok if it breaks, in fact it should break. If it breaks, then it means it was engaged by someone, used by someone, tested by someone. Not just viewed by someone. Recycling is the sustenance of Ron’s practice, the junk yard his shelter. He believes revision is the art of recycling. This idea solidifies even further when we learn that Ron’s sculptures are built from found objects.

In true burner style, Ron enlists the help of others in his creative process. His work is founded on collaboration with his cell-phone being his most important tool. Ron works with a range of different people and materials to create his exhilarating pieces. He often works with the likes of programmers and light technicians to build and engineer the framework for his sculptures. The message of his work takes precedence over the media and medium. He sums the collective nature of his practice up beautifully when he tells me, ‘I can’t build anything without other people.’ According to Ron, cultivating and maintaining one’s social network is crucial not only in art but in life too. The idea of working at staying alive and remaining surrounded by people is one which features prominently in Ron’s decree.

Ron is a surrealist and experimentalist who strives to communicate a belief in finding one’s own reality and one’s own reason for being. Ron’s Beating Heart is a personal favourite. The project in essence transports a heart-like sculpture between Vancouver and Portland. It perfectly (if Ron believed in perfect) encapsulates Ron and his message.

Ron will be with us in April but you can also catch him in Agassiz at Burn in the Forest this July and ReCharge in February.


Visit his website here.

Twitter - @artsblast

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INTERVIEW BY LAURA NOONAN

16–19 April 2020

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