Ron Russell is best known for his iconic baseball paintings. For the last 10 years he’s put his superb draftsmanship to work on his series based on food terms in baseball. Baseball’s terminology and linguistic inventions are all as old and as natural as the game itself. From its inception, the players, then the press and broadcasters described the plays, players, and action in colorful regional and national vernaculars that give the National Pastime a flavor like no other sport. Ronald Russell has chosen the many food metaphors in the game as the vocabulary for his paintings. Often literal, often humorous, his interpretations of the language of baseball bring the viewer into intimate contact with his textural surfaces and dynamic color, and shows a love of the game and a respect for its history and traditions. Seeing baseball through Russell’s eyes is “a can of corn.”
He co-founded the “infamous” annual Foodscape show in Baltimore’s equally infamous Mt. Royal Tavern. The show began as a tongue-in-cheek response to the early Artscape celebrations where local artists were under-represented and there seemed to be more food than art. Now, over 25 years later, the art is still food-related and Foodscape enjoys its reputation showcasing the strongest food art found in the city.
His past work has spanned themes of the American circus, the tarot, and animals in flight. His recent digital photography employs the same care, discerning eye and keen sense of humor in his images of vintage automobiles and the natural world.
Ron grew up on Maryland’s Eastern Shore and moved to Baltimore at age 17 to attend the Maryland Institute College of Art. After completing his undergraduate degree he attended Bowling Green State University in Ohio earning his M.F.A. and M.A. in graphic design and art history. He lives in the Patterson Park area of Baltimore with his wife and son.