Ron Whitacre began life in a small town in southwestern Ohio. His interest in art began at a very early age. He was making sketches of friends and family in grade school and did his first oil painting at the age of 10. He went on to study at the Dayton Art Institute, a favorite place of his from years of browsing the halls at the museum. He experimented with oils, watercolor, ceramics, pencil and pen and ink, charcoal, clay modeling, wood and stone carving. It wasn’t until after moving to California that he discovered welding steel sculpture. His transition to sculpture came about after years of fascination with three dimension and the desire to create “real” objects. He eventually began working in welded steel because of his desire to participate in the entire creation process, from raw steel rods and sheet metal to the final finished works without the need for kilns, casting, foundries, etc.
He developed his unique style of sculpture over time. He employs a usage of positive and negative space using graceful lines and shapes in steel to define anatomical form and create movement within the piece. Some appear to fly or float on air.
Whitacre was an exhibitor in the Laguna Beach Festival of Arts before devoting a large portion of his time to designing and creating large works for public venues. Some measuring over forty feet in size. One of these large pieces, a fourteen foot sculpture called “Harmony”, has arched over the entrance to the Laguna Art Affair since 1998. Much of his commission work over the years has been for religious organizations, creating gigantic wall sculptures, memorials and works for synagogues and churches.
His interest in philosophy, history and the “social animal” all combine to compel him to portray many different subjects. Whitacre’s love of grace and freedom is shown through the many works of dancers, acrobats, and the performing arts. He has also done many works portraying the power and grace of animals; horses, large cats, bulls, etc. not to mention the occasional dragon. Combining these subjects brings fruition in the depiction of the legends and myths, his favorite genre.
Whitacre has been associated with several galleries over the years, Studio Five, Laguna Beach, Ca., Zantman Gallery, Carmel, Ca., The Upstairs Gallery, Long Beach, Ca., Collectors Gallery, San Diego,Ca., Forest and Ocean Gallery, Laguna Beach, Ca., to name a few.
American National Bank, Lancaster, Ca.
Laguna Art Affair, Laguna Beach, Ca.
Temple Ramat Zion, Northridge, Ca.
Temple Ahavat Shalom, Northridge, Ca.
Temple Akiba, Culver City, Ca.
Temple Beth Shalom, Long Beach, Ca.
Pacific Hospital, Huntington Beach, Ca.
San Gabriel Mission, San Gabriel, Ca.
Dr. and Mrs. Lawrence Pollock, Long Beach, Ca.
Dr. Stanley Bishop, Rialto, Ca.
Dr. Michael Wald, Hollywood, Ca.
Mr. Terry Antonello, Newport Beach, Ca.