Professor brings unique and detailed work to Sun Yat Sen

Professor Bill Ronalds, a 2004 retiree of the Department of Fine Arts, has returned this semester not to teach and lecture, but to show and tell.

Ronalds’ work is currently being featured in the Yeh Art Gallery located in Sun Yat Sen Hall, and will be on display from January 28 until March 5.

To commemorate the exhibition’s exodus, Ronalds will give a lecture about his work on Tuesday March 5 during common hour followed by a reception the same day at 4:30 p.m.

According to the University Web site, other than working as a professor at St. John’s, Ronalds has completed work for Rock Magazine, Sports Illustrated, and Time Magazine just to name a few. He graduated from Kutztown University and obtained his MFA from Syracuse University as well as an MA from New York University.

Currently, the walls of the Yeh Art Gallery hold 63 pieces of Ronalds’ work, the majority using graphite on Mylar. The artist’s biography on the University Web site states Ronalds draws his inspiration from “decayed infrastructure, antiquated amusement parks, pinball, and advertising.”

Also, according to the St. John’s Web site, “Taking the iconography found in pinball machines, neon lights, amusement parks and advertising, Bill explores, in each artwork, the visual poetics held within the imagery of American pop culture.”

These themes translate into his work in pieces such as “Drive Through” and “Whiplash.”

In many of Ronalds’ pieces, intricate detail change depending on each spectator’s point of view. A brief glance will only reveal one dimension of the work. The pictures’ details change with distance and angle, forcing the viewer to look at it from different points of the room to get the full perspective. “Time Warp” and “Galaxy,” for example, are dizzying 3-D weaves of twisted and overlapping bars and pipes.

Exhibitions for the Yeh Art Gallery are booked from a year to a year-and-a-half in advance.

The selection policy is rigorous and exhibitions are chosen by a committee of four people, including Parvez Mohsin, gallery director. The committee meets once each semester to review curatorial submissions, which are composed of a one-page statement and a minimum of ten samples. The artist with the strongest message is selected.

The Yeh Art Gallery aims to “provide information that will be beneficial to [the St. John’s community] through the artwork…something that is academic and scholarly,” Mohsin said.