Ray Hassard was born and raised in the New York area. Growing up, he attended Saturday classes at the Museum of Modern Art, and took community education art classes at local schools and art organizations. He studied at Pratt Institute, and, more importantly, spent hours and hours at New York’s wonderful museums and galleries. Ray moved to Buffalo NY in 1977, where he was awarded several commissions, including one for a 45 foot long wall piece in the subway system the city was building. In 1985, he and his partner came to Cincinnati and became co-owners and publishers of American Record Guide, a classical music CD review magazine.
Ray teaches pastels and oils at the Women’s Art Club in Cincinnati. He belongs to the Ohio Plein Air Society, Oil Painters of America, Indiana Plein Air Painters Association, and is a signature member of the Cincinnati Art Club. He was awarded signature and Master Pastellist status by the MidAmerica Pastel Society in 2008, and served on the Board of the Ohio Plein Air Society for two terms. He was given Signature Member status by the Pastel Society of America in 2011, and given Master Circle status by the International Association of Pastel Societies in 2014.
Besides art, Ray’s major interests include contra dancing, roller coasters, and travel. He has visited over 75 countries, with India being his favorite. Three painting trips there with friend and fellow artist Debra Joyce Dawson led to a joint show of their paintings of India and Bhutan at the Richmond Art Museum in January 2010. In that same year Ray painted in Spain, France and Croatia.