A native Detroiter, Ronald Scarbough attended Detroit Public Schools where his artistic ability was discovered early during his first grade. Â Because of his obvious natural gift, he was placed in advanced tutorial art classes for the gifted after his regular school day and on Saturdays throughout his public education career. Â Upon graduation he attended the Society of Arts and Crafts, Wayne State University, University of Southern Mississippi, and the University of Maryland, all in the pursuit of studying drawing.
Ron joined the U.S. Air Force during the Viet Â Nam era where he served as a technical illustrator, illustrating military books and manuals. Â He utilized his four-year military time perfecting drawing techniques, predominately the technique of crosshatching.
After he was discharged from the military Ron exhibited his first one-man show at Detroit’s Ford Auditorium. Â The show was sponsored by the Women’s League of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Â His association with Margaret Conzulman at the Detroit Artist Market gave him wide exposure and a following of loyal collectors throughout the State of Michigan.
Ron Scarbough has a long and impressive list of one-man shows, group shows, awards, commissions, and art fair participation. Â He has also been the illustrator of ten books. Â His one-man shows include the Flint Institute of Arts and the Charles H. Wright Museum of African American History. Â His commissions include the Detroit Athletic Club and the Citadel Military Academy of Charleston, South Carolina. Â He has instructed studio drawing classes at the Detroit Institute of Art along with gallery demonstrations and instructing adults for the museum’s “Fridays” program.
John Falter, a Saturday Evening Post Illustrator, was Ron Scarbough’s mentor, friend and major influence. Â Through his association with John Falter, Ron spent several summers on Nantucket Island with Harold and Carol Berger, showing his works at their Hemmingway Gallery. Â John Falter also invited Ron to participate in a group show in Philadelphia where he was given a surprise honorary meeting with Norman Rockwell.
Ron Scarbough’s drawings have portrayed the American spirit with every nationality and age group. Â Tender moments of caring, love for one another, gentle expressions, love of family or a saddened lonely child have been the cornerstone of Ron’s subject matter. Â All of these emotions in his works are clearly captured in each of his subject’s eyes.
Ron’s artistic style was self-directed with a great desire to excel in his craft. Â He always admired the drawings of Jean August Dominique Ingres, the paintings of Ivan Albright and Pablo Picasso’s etching, “The Fugal Repast.”
Illustrating books since 1990, Ron has been absent from the public eye. Â His present drawings are a collection entitled “Dignity: Portrait of a People.” Â These works are portraits of African Americans struggling to make lives for themselves after the emancipation until the early 1920’s. Â With the recent departure of his mother, whom he was extremely close to, Ron’s work has taken on a more serious depth of feeling and expression totally apart from his early works based on children, family and joy. Â His collection “Dignity” was presented recently at the Swords Into Plowshares Peace Center and Gallery in downtown Detroit. A convert to Judaism, Ron is currently working on a body of works entitled “Orphans of the Holocaust.”
Awards and Articles
Ronald Scarbough is a National Award Winning Artist.
National Veterans Creative Arts Festival Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- 2 1st Place Awards
National Veterans Creative Arts Festival Reno, Nevada
- Gold Medal, 1 bronze medal
National Veterans Creative Arts Festival Boston, Massachusettes
- Gold Medal, 2 Silver Medals