Ray Cronin is an author and curator who lives in Nova Scotia. He is a graduate of the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design (Bachelor of Fine Arts) and the University of Windsor (Master of Fine Arts). Cronin moved to Fredericton in 1993 where he worked in literary publishing, eventually becoming a full-time writer, including as arts columnist for the Daily Gleaner (Fredericton) and Here (Saint John), as well as being an artist and freelance curator. In 2001 he moved to Halifax as Curator of Contemporary Art at the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia, and eventually Senior Curator. From 2007 to 2015, he was Director and CEO of the Art Gallery of Nova Scotia.
He is the founding curator of the Sobey Art Award, Canada’s premiere award for the visual arts, and the author of numerous catalogue essays and articles for Canadian and American art magazines, including Canadian Art, Border Crossings, Sculpture, and Espace art actuel. Cronin is now the visual arts blogger for Halifax Magazine and the editor of Billie: Visual ∙ Culture ∙ Atlantic.
He has curated numerous exhibitions, including the nationally touring Arena: The Art of Hockey; Nancy Edell: Selected Works 1980–2004; Thierry Delva; and Graeme Patterson: Woodrow. In 2019, he was named curator of the 2021 Windsor-Essex Triennial of Contemporary Art.
His e-book, Alex Colville: Life & Work, was published by the Art Canada Institute in 2017, and he is the author of six books of non-fiction, including Our Maud: The Life, Art and Legacy of Maud Lewis; Alex Colville: A Rebellious Mind, Mary Pratt: Still Light; and Gerald Ferguson: Thinking of Painting. He has contributed essays to over a dozen books on artists including Mary Pratt, John Greer, David Askevold, Graeme Patterson, Colleen Wolstenholme, Ned Pratt, and Garry Neill Kennedy, among others. In 2020, Nimbus Publishing will publish his book Nova Scotia Folk Art: An Illustrated Guide.