Carson Valley artist Ron Kwiek exhibit at museum
Special to The R-C
It was an unexpected path for an intense, multi-faceted artist. Ron Kwiek graduated from Pacific Union College with a degree in commercial art, finding work in the Napa area of California where he lived. Right as his career was about to take off, he was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis.
Suddenly, he was facing a very different future than he had envisioned. As the disease progressed, he became confined to a wheelchair.
Born in 1943, he fell in love with the Carson Valley the first time he saw it. The imposing mountains and striking cloud formations were tied to the landscape of wide pastures and ranches located here. The beauty brought him comfort and gratefulness for his surroundings no matter how much he was suffering physically.
The exhibit at the Carson Valley Museum and Cultural Center includes the very last watercolor he ever did: Genoa Courthouse Museum in Winter, circa 1991. Kwiek dealt with his loss of energy and control as the years passed by trying to paint first thing in the morning, using a medium that allowed him to be more spontaneous, and after his own extremely careful planning, to be able to work very quickly. The Genoa piece was painted by holding the brush in his mouth.
He made cards for the Douglas County Historical Society, taught at the Brewery Arts Center, sold prints, exhibited both locally and nationally as he was able.
He had to leave the Valley so his sister could care for him in 1993. He died in 1996. Local collectors have brought Kwiek’s artwork to be shown for the month of February.