On Piety * 617Seven Large Scale Multidisciplinary Installations, 1 November 2008 through 18 January 2009
Artists' Bios

Rontherin Ratliff, a native of New Orleans, is a multi-faceted artist, working in such diverse media as carpentry, mural, and graphic design. Fifteen years ago, he joined the youth artist collective, Young Aspirations/Young Artists. As a member of YA/YA, he was contracted to restore chairs for a private collection in Sanselpocro, Italy (1997); his interior design project was exhibited as part of Artpentry at the Louisiana Children’s Museum in 2002; and he designed murals for the City of Hammond (1999), Café du Monde (commissioned by the Vieux Carré in 1999), Harrah’s Casino and MTV’s The Real World (2000). In 2007, Ron designed and painted YA/YA’s Coming Home mural series, which was painted on the wall of the Contemporary Arts Center in New Orleans. Currently, Ron is working on a YA/YA sculpture project titled Sounds of a Crescent City as the lead artist and mentor for YA/YA youth artists.

As a proprietor and designer of Majestic Lines, LLC, Ron has also designed murals for Jefferson Parish (2007) and City Arts in New York, NY (2005). In 2000, Ron co-founded WhyFive Studio, which creates two-dimensional textile designs. WhyFive Studio has already been repeatedly commissioned to create concert posters, product advertisements, and festival banners to promote commercial and non-commercial arts events.

Ron’s On Piety installation is Rooted, a sculpture/installation that takes the form of a oak tree, typical of New Orleans. Largely consisting of found objects, the tree evokes images of the city and of New Orleanian culture; it addresses themes of rebuilding and community and their concomitant issues of equality and neglect. The tree’s roots act as an undeniable force of its culture breaking through a cement sidewalk. The sidewalk is lit from below, symbolizing what was, what is, and the hope of what can be.


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