Then & Now
Works by Ron Crouch
September 4 – November 7, 2020
Artist Statement :
This show focuses on pieces about my two sons: “then”- when they were young children, and “now”- as they have grown to become men.
Early in graduate school, I did a series of paintings that were, in my mind, witty social commentaries. I thought these were much more important than my earlier work, which was concerned mostly with drawings of friends and family sitting around my house. After struggling with these new pieces for a while, one of my professors finally put it bluntly: “The problem with these paintings is that they’re like one-liners. And once you get the joke, who cares?”
All this changed when we made the decision to start our family. My oldest son was born at the beginning of my last year of graduate school. My art since then has primarily been about my family and friends (including several generations of cats) and the space we all inhabit.
I was a stay-at-home dad for many years, which gave me ample opportunity to press my two sons into service as models. When I returned to painting after a 10-year hiatus due to work responsibilities it was natural that I looked again to them, and the best of my recent work has been about them.
I have enjoyed going over the pieces from when they were children as I made selections for this show. Looking at my work from back then reminds me of the fact that I am the most fortunate of men. The new pieces reflect the ongoing relationship I continue to enjoy with them and they with each other.
My mother once told me, “You never stop being a parent.” This show is a reminder of that truth.
Conversations in Art with Ron Crouch
Ron Taylor Crouch was born in Fort Worth, Texas, in the hottest month of the year, the summer before Harris Hospital was air-conditioned. His family moved to the Chicago suburbs when he was nine.
Returning to Texas as a TCU freshman, Ron initially planned on majoring in ceramics but switched to painting after being awarded a Nordan Fine Arts scholarship. After graduating with a BFA in painting, he was hired as an assistant art director at D’Arcy McManus & Masius Advertising in St. Louis. He worked in advertising in California and Texas for several years, before taking up graduate studies at North Texas State University (now the University of North Texas), where he worked as a teaching fellow. He was awarded his MFA in drawing and painting in 1987.
His oldest son was born at the beginning of his final year of grad school. The experience of fatherhood and starting a family changed his art irrevocably.
After enjoying some success in Texas during the late 1980s and 1990s, including a series of group and solo shows with Dutch Phillips and the Fort Worth Gallery, it became necessary to switch gears to support his family. Ron started an internet consulting business with a former co-worker, and eventually went to work for a major corporation supporting their web activities in a variety of IT roles.
During his corporate life, Ron continued to paint and show sporadically. Over the past five years he has increasingly turned back to his creative roots, making and showing art in a variety of venues in Texas. His subjects continue to be his friends, family, wife, children, and cats.
“Then and Now” is Ron’s first major solo show since the 1990s, and features work from when his children were young, and now, when they are adults.