Ron Moppett and John Hall met in the mid 1960s when they were classmates at the Alberta College of Art, and they both attended the Instituto Allende in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico in 1968. Their first of many collaborative projects was the ground-breaking 1974 Rose Museum exhibition. In the early 1970s, Hall and Moppett each noticed how common the rose was in everyday life and both began using it in their work. From symbolism in historical art, to references in contemporary advertising and pop culture, right down to Hall’s Calgary address at the time (on Rosetree Road in Rosemont), the rose was everywhere. In 1972 they founded the International Society of Rose Painters, and the idea of the Rose Museum was born. The two-member society collected as many objets de rose as possible and mounted an exhibition at the Glenbow-Alberta Institute. It became a uniquely collaborative project; after the exhibition opened people continued to contribute, ultimately assembling; over 1,000 rose-themed items.
Following a national tour the Rose Museum closed, but their collaborations did not cease. In 1975, Hall and Moppett curated a retrospective exhibition at the Edmonton Art Gallery for the influential Alberta artist Marion Nicoll who had taught them both at the Alberta College of Art. In 1978, Moppett curated the touring exhibition John Hall: Paintings and Auxiliary Works 1969 – 78 which was shown at the National Gallery of Canada.
In 2022 the pair are again collaborating with FrAmEd, a series of trompe l’oeil paintings—a trick of the eye—causing viewers to think they are seeing a three-dimensional object. John Hall’s own Framed series goes back to 2016 when he began creating hyper-realistic paintings of artworks in frames, with the intention of tricking viewers into believing that they were looking at a painting in a real, three-dimensional frame. The FrAmEd collaboration has both artists painting the same canvas—one painting a trompe l’oeil frame while the other paints the picture, and vice versa.
Both Moppett and Hall have sustained long, and successful careers spanning over fifty years and both hold important places in the history in the visual arts community in the city of Calgary, and across Canada. Both artists are members of the Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Ron Moppett lives and works in Calgary, Alberta; and John Hall lives and works in Kelowna, British Columbia.