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Meet the EquiMania! ArtistDecember 2005

Ruth_BennsGrowing up in Toronto's east end in the 40's and 50's, Ruth’s greatest wish always, was to own a horse. However, it was only after she was married with 3 children that her family moved to a 10 acre property near Sunderland, Ont. and acquired 2 ponies. Her love of horses was contagious, and her son, Rob, now living in B.C. has trained as a Horse Whisperer and trainer. Her daughter, Wendy, lives at home and is an accomplished endurance rider and competes internationally. You will often find Ruth pit crewing for Wendy at the rides.

A graduate of the University of Guelph, her studies, many years ago, included Art and Design. Now that Ruth is a "retired" grandmother, she can devote more time to her art. In January of 2005, Ruth became involved in the creation of FunnyBones, the star of Equine Guelph’s educational website for youth, EquiMania!, and has since taken on the role of "Official EquiMania! Artist". The Painted Horse is her largest project. Since the horse will be used for Equine Guelph's Education Program, the single most important requirement in painting the horse was that the muscles, skeleton and internal organs would be anatomically correct. During the painting of the horse, Ruth consulted with Gayle Ecker, Senior Manager of Equine Guelph, and Dr. Jeff Thomason, Professor of Anatomy, Biomedical Sciences and Instructor/Co-course Developer for the Functional Anatomy course, a part of the Equine Science Certificate Course at the University of Guelph. The horse was painted over a period of 2 months, and as Ruth says, "For those 2 months my bedtime reading consisted of horse anatomy text books! I began the project by doing a 16"X20" painting showing the lateral view of the muscles of a horse using acrylic paints. That gave me a good idea of what the finished life size model would look like, although it was somewhat more complicated to paint the 3-dimensional model. Doing the paintings and drawings for Equine Guelph’s Education Program has been an invaluable learning experience."