Ronald J. Llanos. Photo courtesy of the artist.
Born in Los Angeles, Art Center alumnus Ronald J. Llanos ILLU ’03 has taught in Art Center’s Public Programs—Art Center for Kids, Saturday High and Art Center at Night—for the past 10 years.
Llanos’ work depicts everyday moments of life in L.A., whether it’s street vendors selling their wares in downtown’s Toy District or an homage to Manet’s Bar at the Folies Bergères via Hot Dog on a Stick. “I was inspired by artists who captured their urban surroundings like George Bellows and John French Sloan,” says Llanos, who’s teaching Illustration for Art Center for Kids’ Summer 2013 term.
And while he cites as influences those two artists and others from the Ashcan School—a group of early 20th-century painters in New York and Philadelphia that depicted the raw vibrancy of city life—Llanos says his urban illustrations also owe a debt to Bugs Bunny. “I was also inspired by the background art from Looney Tunes cartoons from the ‘40s and ’50s, specifically the work of Maurice Noble.”
Sunday, his work featured on the most current Art Center for Kids catalog, is part of Llanos’ ongoing “Brown World” series, which refers both to his choice of paper stock as well as the Latino community he chronicles. “I lived in Huntington Park for the first three years of my life, which I can still vividly recall,” says Llanos. “It all left an impression on me.”
Llanos’ “Sunday,” 2003. Courtesy: Nick Jeong.
Llanos’ has shown at venues like Wax Poetic, Cactus Gallery and Ghettogloss. And last year, Metro unveiled his most ambitious project to date: Ephemeral Views: A Visual Essay. The public work—24 large-scale mosaic panels that depict L.A. street life—is seen daily by thousands of commuters passing through the Expo Line’s Expo/Western station.
Summer 2013 term Art Center for Kids classes begin June 23 and registration begins May 20.
Art Center for Kids motivates students (grades 4–8) to discover their inspiration and express themselves in new ways. Through a variety of unique art and design classes—ranging from Animal Sculpture to Inventors’ Workshop—the program teaches critical thinking, innovation and visual literacy to help children reach their creative potential.
Art Center College of Design’s Public Programs offer a wide range of art and design courses for individuals at every stage of their educational, professional or personal development. By providing non-degree students access to exceptional instruction and facilities, the College’s Public Programs promote critical thinking and problem solving, and teach effective techniques for fostering intellectual, societal and professional development.