Ron Stokes passed away on December, 2, 2018. He had a significant impact on the ‘arts’ community. He worked as an art educator and administrator in the Manitowoc Public Schools. In addition to all of his jobs, he remained an active painter throughout his life. Ron became an extraordinary teacher not only of art but of life beyond the arts. He shaped, influenced, and inspired many students over the years.
Ron was born in 1932, and was educated in Milwaukee and graduated from UW-Milwaukee with a Bachelor and Master Degrees in Art Education. He taught art in Milwaukee and Manitowoc public schools for 32 years. From 1967-1970 he was Director of Education at the Milwaukee Art Center, and director of a federally funded CESA program at the Milwaukee Art Center. In 1967 he and his wife Dolly began the Courthouse Square Art Fair in Manitowoc, an event that was held until the late 1980’s.
Ron was a member of the Wisconsin Watercolor Society, Green Bay Watercolor Guild, Wisconsin and National Art Education Association, and the Wisconsin and National Education Association, and the Milwaukee Area Teachers of Art. He was a past president and Treasurer of WEA. Ron owned and operated Gallery East in Manitowoc for 32 years and was associated with Nasco International where he demonstrated products for teacher groups including sixteen products he worked on for Nasco.
Ron was an avid watercolor painter and occasionally taught introductory watercolor courses for UW Outreach in northeast Wisconsin. His work focused on the experimental side of the medium- seeing what could be done with the material. He loved Wisconsin land and seascapes with dramatic skies and warm light sparking through the darkness. He would include his seven stroke figures, standing, walking, or contemplating the world and nature. His work has won numerous awards and hangs in many private and public collections.