Ron Pokrasso

Ron Pokrasso’s (1951---) study and enjoyment of art, encouraged by his parents, was an early part of his life on Long Island.  In high school, he received an award for creative art and was included in a seven student senior art exhibit [1]. From his first class in printmaking as an undergraduate with Robert E. Marx, his college major changed from psychology to art and printmaking that became a lifelong passion.  In 1973, he graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Art from the State University of New York in Brockport.  Marx and Pokrasso stayed in touch and in 2012, along with another student, the three were part of, “Mentors and Makers”, at the Rochester Contemporary Art Center [2].

In 1975, Pokrasso received his MFA from the Pratt Institute in New York City. His study with lithographer and photogravure expert, Deli Sacilotto, was particularly important and led to an apprenticeship and rare opportunity with Sacilotto in Soho to create prints from the copper plates of famed photographer, Edward S. Curtis (1868-1952). Sacilotto was hired by investors who had an incomplete set of Curtis’ life work, photographing the North American Indian, of inestimable value artistically and photographically, that they wished to be completed. Another incomplete set in Santa Fe needed additions; Sacilotto recommended Pokrasso who moved in October 1978 to become the Master Printer and Production Supervisor for Classic Gravure in New Mexico. His three years at this task led to a mastery of intaglio printmaking [3].

Building a printmaking studio on his property; he founded the popular Monothon fundraising event for the College of Santa Fe. An advocate of monotypes and the creativity that results from continuing experimentation [4]. Pokrasso has shown in a very long list of exhibitions, 196 group and 52 solo, throughout the country with 10 awards. He has been facilitator, instructor, and artist in residence to a great many institutions in Europe and America [5].

The Graphic Workshop that Pokrasso led for 11 years was graciously given to the College of Santa Fe in 1993. It was during this tenure that he worked with Margaret Lefranc with whom he developed an abiding relationship, both personal and professional, spurring new ideas for both, until the end of Lefranc’s life. Even when she was in her hospital bed with McKenzie at her side, Pokrasso was making excellent prints from Lefranc’s salvaged metal plates from her 1957 Florida printmaking efforts. When the plates were no longer capable of producing quality prints, he stopped [6]. The plates are now part of the Margaret Lefranc Art Foundation.

Pokrasso’s love of baseball, music, in addition to a life of creating prints and art has been generously shared with so many, including Lefranc. Currently, he is the owner/director of the Galisteo Street Studio. It is naturally a printmaking space. His art work can be found in many public and private, as well as important corporate collections. In his words, “With a refreshed energy and a synthesis of old ideas I find myself gravitating again to the figure, landscape, and various icons but with a desire to convey a level of anticipation and mystery.” [7]

 

[1] Personal correspondence with the author.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Ibid.

[4] https://www.ronpokrasso.com

[5] Ibid.

[6] Personal correspondence between Sandra McKenzie, author, and Ron Pokrasso. https://santafe.com/espn/podcasts/art-fusion-october-7-2017-visual-artist-ron-pokrasso.

[7] https://www.warnockfinearts.com/ron-pokrasso.