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The Foot Soldier
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
|This biography from the Archives of AskART:|
|The following is from Clarence Wilkerson who works with the artist.|
Ronald Scott McDowell is a sculptor and painter who has earned several commendations and awards. He is known for his life-like pictorials intended to master the range of human emotion and capture the essence of the human spirit.
Although McDowell has minimal professional training, his attention to detail and multi-dimensional thinking has led to his work being found in many institutional and private collections in the U.S. and abroad. He has a strong following among the rich and famous, including Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Smokey Robinson, Bill Cosby, Angela Bassett, Spike Lee, Dixie Carter, Brian Bosworth, Coretta Scott King, Rosa Parks, Dorothy Height, Barry Gordy, Jr., Maya Angelou, former President Bill Clinton, and LL Cool J to name a few.
McDowell's work is greatly diversified and includes film, sculpture, painting, commercial art, murals and illustrations. Of his expression, he says: "I honor the gift God gave me. This isn't about me I'm [being used] to tell a story of a time, a place and a people."
In fact, McDowell sacrificed his childhood and much of his adult life to hone his craft. He creates with a purpose a higher calling to teach and minister love. It is this dedication and passion to the craft that has been the driving force behind his philanthropic efforts to educate the public about the arts. It is his belief that every person should understand art so they can appreciate and see the beauty in it.
He is especially concerned about the black community and the lack of art programs available to the youth in low-income neighborhoods and disadvantaged areas. "We need more black leaders who will help promote art and it's importance in the [black] community," McDowell stated. As an advocate of the arts, McDowell volunteers at art programs and coordinates seminars to help promote the craft. He is also a professor at the University of Alabama, teaching the History of Art.
As an African-American artist, McDowell considers himself a public servant to his community. He is committed to telling truthful stories of black life and love through his works. While other artists may only hint at the truth, McDowell creates with a conviction and passion that is undeniable. "My work speaks of who I am and the world I live in," he affirmed.
Simply put, McDowell's goal is to give the gift of love through art.
Commissioned by Bernice Rincon of the United Farm Workers of America to design paintings of "Caesar Chevez"
Commissioned to design cover page for Right On magazine, featuring Diana Ross and Billy Dee Williams, actress and actor in "Lady Sings The Blues".
Commissioned by the City of Pittsburg, CA, and Mayor Joe Torres (the first Rumanian Mayor of a United States city) to paint "Children of Guam", presented to the Ambassador of Guam in San Diego, CA
Designed the album jacket cover for Michael Jackson's "Thriller".
Commissioned to work with Michael Jackson on Teen, International Magazine and Tiger Beat publications.
Commissioned by Michael Jackson to design centerfold of The Magic of Michael.
Commissioned by Victor Ebonye to paint the "Mother Africa" and "Africa Prays". The paintings represent the Ibo Tribe of Nigeria.
Commended by President Ronald Reagan on his paintings commemorating "The Infinite Challenge" commissioned by Arliss and Anita Trone.
National Artist for BARAC (Black American Response to the African Crisis).
Commissioned by the Northern California Branch Labor Union of Martinez, CA to design painting depicting "Rev. Jesse Jackson Leading the Struggle".
Art Consultant for Macon County Fine Arts Manifesto, Tuskegee, Alabama.
Designed brochure cover capturing "Historic Scene" for the City of Tuskegee, Alabama.
Portrait and Montage of Attorney Fred Gray.
Commissioned by Ebony Museum of Black Art to paint inductees of Pioneers of the Arts' Famous Afro-American Artists.
Commissioned by Jack Smith to paint portraits of famous Tuskegee natives and Sports Figures.
Commissioned by Mrs. Alberta Richie of Tuskegee, Alabama to paint portrait of Ronald LePread.
Appointed "Official Artist" by the Governor of Alabama and the Alabama Music Hall of Fame to paint portraits of famous Alabama Artists.
Commissioned by Victoryland of Tuskegee, AL, to paint portrait of Milton McGregor.
Commissioned by the Bay Area NAACP to paint "History in Black"
Commissioned by First Tuskegee Bank to paint series of portraits of founder and presidents of Tuskegee University, Tuskegee, Alabama.
Commissioned to paint portrait of Janet Jackson.
Commissioned as Art Consultant for the City of Birmingham, Alabama.
Honored by the Southern Christian Leadership Conference as a "National Artist".
Painted & Donated to the Martin Luther King Jr., Center for Non-Violence and Social Change, the "Moods of Martin".
Commissioned by Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr., Birmingham, AL to paint portrait of Dr. A. G. Gaston.
Commissioned by the Birmingham, Alabama Jazz Hall of fame to paint portraits of Sammy Lowe, J.L. Lowe, and Erskine Hawkins.
Commissioned by Gardner & Rich Brokerage Company, Chicago, IL to paint portrait of Chris Gardner.
Paintings for Tammi Wynette, Jimmy Rodgers, Dinah Washington, Putnam and the group "Alabama". Alabama Music Hall of Fame, Muscles Schoals, AL.
Sculpture of Boys-N-the-Hood for the Achievers Scholarship Organization, Chicago, IL.
Painting "Dr. Lillian Harvey" for National Tuskegee Institute Nurses Association, Chicago, IL.
Painting "The Faces of Mayor Herenton", Memphis, TN.
Painting "The Honorable Ralph Cooke", State of Alabama Supreme Court, Montgomery, AL.
Painting "Lou Rawls" commissioned by Mayor Larry Langford and the Scholarship fundraiser for Michael Jackson Fund, Fairfield Alabama.
Painting "Pioneer Women of Alabama" Subjects: Judith Jameson, Johnnie Carr, Rosa Parks and Virginia Durr commissioned by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival, Montgomery, AL.
Painting "The Struggle Continues" donated to the National AIDS Task Force, San Francisco, CA.
Portrait of Governor Fob James.
Painting "Martha Reeves" commissioned by Martha Reeves, Detroit, MI.
Painting "Rachael Arrington & Jennifer" commissioned by Mayor Richard Arrington.
Sculpture "The Salute to the Foot Soldiers" honoring those who lead the March on Civil Rights under the leadership of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., commissioned by Mayor Richard Arrington, Jr., Birmingham, Alabama.
Designed Sculpture Award, "Phenomenal Woman" presented to Maya Angelou by Oprah Winfrey, Chicago, IL.
Designed logo for State of Alabama Parent/Teachers Association, Montgomery, AL.
Commissioned by Mayor of Fairfield, Alabama to paint portrait of Lou Rawls.
Commissioned to paint portrait of Baseball Star Cecil Felder & family.
Commissioned by Dr. Joseph Lowery of S.C.L.C., to do Olympic poster entitled: "Stop the Killing, End the Violence".
Commissioned by the State of Alabama PTA to design t-shirt: "Every Child Counts".
Commissioned by the Alabama Music Hall of Fame to paint portraits of inductees: Lionel Ritchie and Rose Maddox.
Commissioned by the Mayor and city of St. Louis to co-organize workshops that educate inner city youth about the arts and provides and understanding and appreciation for the craft.
Commissioned by Linda Snipes to paint family portraits.
Commissioned by President William Clinton to paint portrait of Ronald Brown.
Commissioned by the City of Pittsburg, California (East Bay) to design 21 bronze sculptures depicting the City's history.
Commissioned to paint portrait of Queen Bafakengh of South Africa.
Commissioned by the City of Birmingham, Alabama to design & fabricate a 125 ft. frieze depicting people of the 20th century, to include Mahatma Ghandi, Mother Teresa and Nelson Mandela.
Commissioned by the City of Birmingham, Alabama to paint portraits of Dr. Richard Arrington, Reverend Fred Shuttlesworth, Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.
Commissioned by the City of Birmingham, AL., to design and fabricate the "Eddie Kendrick Memorial Park".
Commissioned by Mayor John R. Smith & the City of Meridian, Mississippi to paint portrait montage of David Ruffin, of the Temptations.
Commissioned to paint portraits of legendary Tuskegee Airmen: Chief Anderson, General Benjamin O. Davis, Chappie James, General and Colonel Eugene Carter.
Appointed Art Director for the Birmingham HIP/HOP, R&B Museum of Fine Arts.
Designed and fabricated 21 Bronze Sculptures of Native American Indians, Spanish Civic Center. Commissioned by his native home of Pittsburg, CA.
Honored by the Mayor, City of Pittsburg, California and Pittsburg Arts Association.
Commissioned by Dr. Norman Walton, MD & Associates to paint the portrait of Dr. LaSalle LaFalle, Jr., National President of the Surgical Cancer Association, unveiled at Howard University, Washington, D.C.
Appointed State Artist in Residence - Birmingham Community School.
Commissioned to design portraits of Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee University.
Commissioned artist for the 45th Anniversary of the Montgomery Bus Boycott, by the Montgomery Improvement Association.
Commissioned to paint portrait of the distinguished Congressman Earl Hilliard.
Proclamation by Governor Guy Hunt, Montgomery, Alabama.
Certificate of Commendation by Governor Jim Folsom, Jr., Montgomery, Alabama.
Recognition for Implementation of Teens in Art Program, presented by the Tuskegee University Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Tuskegee, AL.
Recognition for Community service in the Arts by the Tuskegee Chapter of the Links Incorporated. Tuskegee, AL.
Achievement Award from the National Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, AL.
The Gonzo Award presented by the Alabama State Council on the Arts, Montgomery, AL.
Proclamation signed by Governor Fob James designating March 14 of each year the "Ronald McDowell Day" in Alabama.
Honored with "Most Prestigious Art Award", presented by Mayor Larry Langford, City of Fairfield, Alabama.
Resolution made by the Mayor and City Council of Tuskegee that October 13 of each year would be "Ronald McDowell Day" in Tuskegee, Alabama.
Governor Siegelman issued Proclamation for Outstanding Work in the state of Alabama, The Eddie Kendricks Memorial Park, Birmingham, Alabama.
"Super Nuclear Man", comic book by John Henry
"Heroes and Sheroes", coloring book for children by Jennifer Blackmon Lawson.
Designed cover for Alabama Jazz Hall of Fame, Birmingham, Alabama.
Designed poster for Jobs Corps "Dare to Dream" and "Careers in Orbit '90".
Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts (4) Workshops for children.
Fundamentals of drawing, Jubilee Festival, Montgomery, AL.
Berkley Youth Program, Marjie Hollins, St. Louis, Missouri
West End High School, Birmingham, Alabama.
"ONE MAN SHOWINGS"
Macy's Walnut Creek, CA Women's Auxiliary
Los Medanos Community College, Pittsburg, CA.
National Exhibition as performing Artist, Commonwealth Edison, Chicago, IL.
LSU, Los Angeles, CA, Black Student Union, President Sandra Manley Evers Racquet Club, Beverly Hills, CA.
Art Exhibition for City of Tuskegee's Office of Cultural Affairs.
Art Exhibition Gomillion Building, Tuskegee, Alabama
Art Seminar VA Medical Center, Tuskegee, Alabama
Frankel Galleries International, Palm Beach, Florida
Portrait Drawing Workshop, BSU, Tuskegee, Alabama
Bay Area Association of Black Journalists
Ebony Museum, Jack London Square, Oakland, CA
Vestavia Hills East Elementary School, Birmingham, Alabama
Roots & Wings, Montgomery, Alabama
Booker T. Washington High School, Tuskegee, Alabama
Carver Museum, Tuskegee Alabama.
First Impressions Art Gallery, Meridian, Mississippi
Pittsburg, CA, Art Show.
The Art Connection Gallery, Tuskegee, Alabama.
Los Medanos Junior College Learning Center, Pittsburg, CA
Boys and Girls Club, Pittsburg, CA
Children's Hospital, Oakland, CA
Animal Rights Organization, Northern California
Macon County Fine Arts Manifesto, Tuskegee, Alabama.
"Faces of Reverend Edward Gamer", City of Birmingham, Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, Alabama.
"Parker High Dragons", Parker High School Gymnasium, Birmingham, Alabama.
Six Murals of Lewis Adams, Booker T. Washington, and the family of Booker T. Washington, Macon County Fine Arts Manifesto, Tuskegee, Alabama.
TELEVISION & FILMS
Richard Pryor "Burn-A-Thon" Auction
Motion picture "The Long Walk Home"
Costumes designs for "Stone Cold"
Statue of "The Foot Soldiers", "Any Day Now"
March on MSNBC "The Pilgrimage", Faith and Politics
San Francisco Chronicle
Cover Rights on Magazines
Cover of TAFRIJA Magazine, Atlanta, GA
WVAS 90.7, Montgomery, Alabama.
WAKA Television, "Live at Noon", Montgomery, Alabama
WSFA Television, "Good Morning Montgomery", Alabama
The Montgomery Advertiser, Montgomery, Alabama
The Atlanta Constitution, Atlanta, Georgia.
British Broadcasting Company, Atlanta, Georgia.
The Chicago Defender, Chicago, IL.
Emerge Magazine International
South African News
The Birmingham News
Metro Media Interview, St. Louis, Missouri
Cover Contra Costa Times
Bay Area News, Oakland, CA
The Birmingham News, Birmingham Alabama
Palm Beach Daily News, Palm Beach Florida
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