The Early Years
Ron Gross was born in 1967 in Brooklyn, NY and then raised in the suburbs of Long Island. His primary interests as a child were drawing and music. He would often draw cartoons and doodles while listening to his record player. His 7th grade art teacher urged him to enter one of his art pieces into a local juried art show, He placed third.
In High School, Ron excelled at graphic arts, specifically printing (traditional hand press and lithography). In his senior year he took a photography class, which opened him to explore in depth this expressive art form.
In 1986, Gross studied Liberal Arts at Nassau Community College in Garden City, Long Island. It was here that he took his first professional art courses and took to them like a fish to water. He studied with Russel Houseman, who encouraged him to explore abstract painting, Stanley Kaplan, who admired his ‚doodle drawings and John Fink, who fostered his ongoing passion for creating 3-dimensional objects.
Gross finished his Associates degree and in the fall of 1990, entered the communication design program at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn. After a semester, Ron decided Pratt wasn’t right for him and found the graphic design program too structured for his taste. So, he packed up his Chrysler Turismo and shuffled off to Buffalo, New York. He went to work at local restaurants to pay the rent and on the side he designed t-shirts, logos and newsletters for local businesses. It wasn’t until the summer of 1992, when things really started to change. That’s when he met his life partner, artist, Linda Chido.
In the winter of 1993, Linda and Ron set off to California and a year later, Ron began taking advertising classes at the Academy of Art College in San Francisco. It was in San Francisco that his fine art blossomed. Encouraged by fellow artists, Robert Duncan and Christopher Sullivan, he started to explore automatist drip painting down in the garage of Ron and Lin’s one bedroom apartment in the Inner Sunset District.
Subsequently, he was studying computer graphics and started to apply some of his fine art ideas onto the digital landscape. He exhibited paintings and drawings at a few local venues and was one of the few selected from his class to participate in the 1998 Academy of Art College Spring Show.
Four years later in 1999, with his Bachelors degree in advertising art, Ron Gross and Linda Chido moved to Albuquerque, New Mexico. They rented an adobe house and an adjacent studio space in the northern section of the city. In the early spring, they were married at Bishop’s Lodge in Santa Fe. Influenced by rich colors of the local landscape and commanding better control over the drip method it was in New Mexico where Gross took his painting style to a new level. He produced numerous paintings, which culminated into four pieces chosen for a group show called Emotions at a SOHO art gallery in New York City.
The Big Apple
A year later, Ron and Linda moved to New York City where Ron landed a job at a large Madison Avenue advertising firm. That lasted two years until the dot com bust and a few months later he was laid off. To fill the void, Ron turned to art, directing his attention to drawing. Ron experimented with ink, conte, pastels, art crayon and marker.
In 2002, Ron also started to collaborate with artist, Martin Somers creating three-dimensional found object sculpture and soon exhibited together in two international shows, The International Assemblage Show in Berlin, Germany and the somewhat controversial Just War show in Houston, Texas. In the winter, Ron collaborated with Martin again along with his wife, Linda Chido for the Art of the Season Show at Brooklyn Borough Hall, curated by Yuko Nii. It was this same year, he also began collaborating on film projects with Director/filmmaker, Leo Zanis.
2003 found Ron & Lin assisting in shows for the Williamsburg Art & Historical (WAH) Center and the Audubon Artists Group. After these experiences, Ron and Linda decided to make plans to open an art gallery and curate their own shows. So in the beginning of 2004, Ron and Linda started making plans to open Big Nail Studios, an International art gallery and learning center.
While working on Big Nail, Ron found time to create & exhibit new works of art. Painting with Pixels at the Cork Gallery at Avery Fisher Hall and What is Erotic? at the Seattle Erotic art Festival.
In the beginning of 2005, Ron and Lin once again along with Martin Somers lent their talents and exhibited at the worldwide symposium on Cervantes’ Don Quixote, an International show held at Hofstra University in New York.
Three months later, they moved to Connecticut and reaped the rewards of their greatest collaboration to date, their daughter, Mona Rae and Big Nail Studios was put on hiatus.
The Lonestar State
Their stint in the country didn’t last long and they packed up their minivan and headed back to the West Coast. Out priced of permanently living there, they took time to meet with family and friends until they settled down in Austin, Texas. After arriving in Austin, Ron and Lin soon had a set of twins and then two years later another baby boy.
While Ron is busy taking care of a family of six, he still finds time to draw, take lots of photos, create new digital art pieces and on occasion actually paint.
Ron is now gearing up to give back to the art world and teach.