The Accidental Painter—History Alumnus Turned Artist
By Ron Throop ’90
I wish I could say otherwise, but my path to Oswego State came comically by chance. I remember back in high school sitting in a circle of prospective students while an Oswego Admissions rep asked each of us our intended major of study. Practically everyone picked Business Administration. When my turn came, not to be a downer, I picked the same. We were allowed to room with a classmate also planning to attend Oswego. Larry Cardarelli ’89, barely an acquaintance at the time, turned to me right away and asked if he could bunk with me.
Sure, why not?
And that was that. I was going to SUNY Oswego. 926 Funnelle. Warming up the vacuum tube stereo console. Being very cool on the weekends and mildly productive during the week. Incredible lasting memories, and then whoops! I did not want to pursue a degree in business. I couldn’t even balance my checkbook!
In my spring sophomore semester, I took an elective on the Enlightenment. I made it to my 20th year of life having read only three creative works by individual authors. One, On the Road by Jack Kerouac, certainly not assigned to me in Principles of Accounting II, was my gateway book to the artistic life. The Enlightenment class made 18th century philosophical books assigned reading. Candide by Voltaire, for instance. By the end of my first upper level history course, I was smitten with the love of learning. It cleared my path to the life abundant.
During my early postgraduate years, I reached out in many directions, moving from history to literature, philosophy, psychology, creative writing and, finally, to painting, where I could manifest the expression of my humanness in full color. It helped that I was an enthusiastic young father, actively raising my firstborn daughter Rhiannon ’12, a summa cum laude graduate of SUNY Oswego; and also a hopeful romantic, courting and marrying my best friend, Oswego BFA graduate Rose Gosselin Throop ’95. In 2001, our daughter Sophia was born, and I continued to homeschool both my girls to high school and middle school respectively, using Penfield Library as a most valuable tool, and the setting of beautiful Lake Ontario for an artist to seek satori in paradise.
Today, I live in a cedar shake cottage, a stone’s throw from Sheldon Hall. Most graduates see college as a stepping stone to another life in another place. Oswego has remained my home, and the college a major piece of it.
I paint nearly every day, exhibit my paintings, and write and publish autobiographical works examining life’s puzzles and my place in them. I ascribe to the art movement called Stuckism. According to its cofounder, Charles Thomson of London, England, I am a leading figure promoting the movement in the United States. If you seek my work and help raise its value to astronomical, I promise to donate large sums to the college fund.
This past October, I exhibited and curated the work of 34 internationally recognized Stuckist painters at Quintus Gallery in Watkins Glen. Currently, I am showing the brilliant work of Spanish painter Lupo Sol at The Broad Street Gallery in Hamilton, N.Y. I update my website (ronthroop.com) and blog regularly at stuckismwatkinsglen.blog, and post upcoming exhibitions. I suggest getting out to art openings whenever possible. Free food and beverages, and usually good conversation too, especially when the music is set to groovy, and no authority figure is watching the punch bowl.