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Ron Laboray

Ronald Laboray


David Orr Belcher College of Fine and Performing Arts

School of Art and Design

Contact Information

Office: 244 Fine & Performing Arts Building
Personal Website:


The work of Ron Laboray has been exhibited in museums, special project spaces, and galleries in cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Memphis, St. Louis, Budapest, France, Taiwan, and Japan. Laboray's art embraces a pseudoscientific method to create a growing visual archive of popular culture. In his work, the visual language of abstraction and realism supports an archive of data based artworks which include historical subject matter and mass culture elements like television, movies, comic books, fast food logos and junk mail advertising. Ron currently resides in Asheville North Carolina and holds the rank of Professor of Painting and Drawing at Western Carolina University were he is Director of the School of Art and Design.


  • MFA, Washington University
  • BFA, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign

Teaching Interests

My teaching philosophy holds that beginning students receive rigorous technical foundation training and a firm grasp of art historical references. I encourage a formal academic approach to observational and life drawing concentrating on structure, gesture, perspective line, space and form. My studio classes are a place to encounter the historical principles and formal elements of art while also a stage for interpreting critically, the real world. Using mass culture and current events I attempt to connect the students to their work in class. Technical topics range from strong color theory and the development of craft, extending into projects that are narrative and biographical. When approaching more advanced students, I encourage them to work out of their own experiences (the biographical) and to expand beyond the biographical into something more universal. I aim for the integration of theory and experience to formulate a personal philosophy. Conceptual method, physical process and visualization of form are major concerns. Often students are overwhelmed by the history of the medium; therefore, I encourage them to expand their ideas beyond traditional notions of drawing, emphasizing hybrid forms. I work to help students develop relationships between technique, formal elements and style, and to synthesize a personal and cultural context. I encourage collaboration, community projects and exchanges, so that students develop the tools to form effective cultural dialogues and service. <br> <br> Ultimately, my goal as a teacher is to expose my students to as much critical and technical information as possible so that they can appropriately choose their content and mediums of expression. In other words, I integrate technique, historical survey and contemporary criticism with the goal of developing fluency of technical skill and conceptualization.

Research Interests

My research extends beyond my personal studio. I assist with integrating other artists and student artwork into public forums, often through collaborative curatorial projects and public exhibitions working with local historical groups, municipal committees, labor unions, and not for profits.

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