Posted April 26th, 2014 at 5:45 pm1 Comment
It was such an honor to receive a personal invitation to see a respected artist get recognition. Ron Anderson, a Columbus painter whose work I have admired for many years, sent an invitation for me to attend a reception at the Governor’s Mansion in his honor. His work was spotlighted in a new program initiated by Governor Kasich’s wife, Karen, and the Ohio Art Council. His paintings, along with others chosen by the OAC of other Ohio Artists, will adorn the mansion for three months. Ron was given the opportunity to say a few words about himself and his work, and it was very enlightening.
I invited my husband to join me for this event for him to appreciate Ron’s work too. The first time I saw any of his paintings was on an outing to the Springfield Museum of Art, at least 10 years ago. His large portrait of a backroom smokey pool hall made me sit down across from it and enjoy the sultry steaminess and richness in color. At the Cox Fine Arts Exhibit at the Ohio State Fair that same summer, Ron’s huge painting, “The Color of Money” won a top award – and I noticed the same name of the artist I admired in Springfield. Curious about his work, I invited him to be the judge when I co-curated an art show at High Road Gallery for the Bexley Art League. We invited Ron to show a piece of his own in addition to sharing information about his background.
Learning about his recent (at that time) commission for the Ohio State Supreme Court on a huge series of original paintings about the “History of the Rule of Law”, I asked Ron to be the speaker at our Dublin Area Art League’s meeting. I was so impressed with his work ethic, his transition from graphic fashion artist for Ohio standbys such as Halle’s and Madison’s, and his subject matter of African American life; jazz infused scenes that I was intrigued about what this series was all about. His presentation left me in awe of the thought-provoking, dramatic and entertaining series he completed downtown. Each painting depicts a defining moment in history in which the written word, and Law played a critical role. I invite you to view these at some point in person to fully appreciate their scale, their depth of importance and thoroughness in his portrayal of the subject at hand. His other series at the King’s Art Complex,: “Cargo: The Middle Passage” was just as impressive.
In Ron’s own words at the reception, it is truly a wonderful thing to turn from envy of other artist’s work in one’s life to joining in celebration of their success. I, too, have found that humbling feeling that other artists aren’t competitors, but peers from which you learn something new. Once you have won an award, sold a piece, been asked to complete a commission, do work for a Company or City – it allows you to drop the need to feel “adequate” in your own ability. It is truly a maturing process, and one each of us needs to embrace. You can lift others up without needing to turn the attention on yourself. I was truly thankful to have the opportunity to let Ron know how terrific his work is and how much it is enjoyed by others.
I hope you will also become a fan of Ron’s work, and invite you to see his work online as well as at the Supreme Court. His website is: www.ronandersonstudio.com.
Here are some additional photos from the Governor’s Mansion: