Ron Fondaw: Artist & Professor of Sculpture at the Sam Fox School, Washington University in St. Louis

My NativeAdVantage:


Ron began his career by painting, and produced his first one-person show in a gas station in his hometown when he was eleven years old.  He received a BFA in ceramics from the Memphis College of Art and gained his MFA from the Univ. of Illinois, Urbana. He then moved to take a teaching position in Miami, Florida where he honed his sense of color and discovered that in tropical light, there are no bad colors or color combinations. His interest in art that is integral to our daily lives has lead him to designed and build three houses (so far) including his home and studio in the North Carolina mountains.  His current work is inspired by the leading edge of scientific research as it reveals more about our mind/body relationship and our place in the natural world.

He has received numerous distinctions including a Guggenheim award for sculpture, a Nation Endowment for the Arts and a Pollack/Kransner award. His works can be seen in several major collections around the world Including the Renwick, Smithsonian Museum, Washington, DC. The Center for Contemporary Art, Vero Beach, FL. The Columbus Museum of Fine Art, OH. The Little Rock Arts Center, AR. and The Museum of North American Ceramics @ the Ceramic Arts Village, Fuping China.

What do you do best?

Get things started. Inertia is a powerful thing to overcome.  I love to brainstorm over ideas and projects. I get excited about sparking interest with others, working together for a common goal weather that is an exhibition building a house or any creative engagement.  When faced with a new project or collaboration with others, I am the one who starts the ball rolling.

What makes you best?

I am made best by others, working together to achieve more than I could ever do alone.  My enthusiasm and excitement for ideas that test my own beliefs, limits and the possibilities of what is. The results are at best a catalyst for further action.

What are your aspirations?

To work within my chosen field (Art) and make a difference in people’s minds and lives. To find a way to express and convey some of the new findings in conative research today. There is a renascence going on that is quietly changing the paradigm of Newtonian physics.

To take my last breath on earth with no regrets.

To be free from beliefs that hold me back.

Biggest Success?

Being able to do what I truly love to do.  I don’t think in terms of big success but rather a series of positive events that have resulted in a successful life and career.  Like Meeting, marring my wife, that lead to rasing two wonderful children and a lot of fun along the way. Like doing Art around the globe that resulted in greater opportunities, meaningful work and lasting friendships.  Lifelong success, that’s big.

Most Challenging Moment?

Wow, a moment is so brief.  That would have to be the moment I met the devil.

Favorite Motto?

Inspiration is a myth, it comes down to hard work and experimentation. “Merce Cunningham”

Favorite people?

Zaha Hadid - Architect  

Muhammad Ali  - Athlete  

Gordon Matta Clark - Artist

Siddhartha – enlightened being

Joe Robert Kirkman – central figure in “Brighten The Corner Where You Are”

Favorite Places?

The creek in front of my home.  

Chaco Canyon

Tiwanaku, Peru

Favorite Products?

My Bosh impact driver.

My Lap top computer.

My Electric tooth brush.

My 750 Night Hawk motor bike.

Current Passions?  

Brainstorming with unbound minds.

Working with my hands to create something that wasn’t there just hours before.

Walking in the woods