Ron Mineo was born in New York City, the son of Sebastiano Mineo, a Sicilian born artist, who came to America to establish one of the largest private art schools in New York City. It was called Art Life Craft Studios. It was born, like Ron, in the Fifties when art trends made New York the “Artistic capital of the world.”
In his teens Ron spent much of his time at the studio in Manhattan, learning every aspect of the fine arts. He managed the small bronze foundry created by his father. He supervised the school’s supply shop containing art materials including a variety of wood and stones, clay, glazes, plaster, and casting supplies, painting and drawing equipment, plastics and more. This exposure gave Ron a profound understanding of all art materials.
He left New York to study and apprentice in Philadelphia under Boris Blai who had taught Ron’s father, Sebastiano, forty years earlier. Professor Blai, founder of Tyler School of Art, was a figurative artist who worked on a grand scale and had been an apprentice to August Rodin in Paris. His portraits were in great demand. Models who sat for Blai included President Truman, President Roosevelt, Frank Lloyd Wright, and many other dignitaries of the 20th Century.
Working in Blais’ studio for two years, Ron came away with an appreciation for sculpting on a grand scale.
Returning to New York Ron took an active role in operating Art Life Studios and went on to earn his Bachelor and Master’s Degrees, both with honors. In the late 70’s Ron was awarded two consecutive scholarships to Haystack School of Crafts in Deer Isle, Maine.
In the eighties, Ron moved the Art Life Studios to Westchester County and studied museum quality framing and apprenticed at the Pine Hill Studio in Katonah under the tutelage of James Beardsley, where he practiced fine art restoration.
About this time Ron sought to learn more about the finest marbles, and marble carvers from the Tuscany region of Italy; Carrara, to be precise, where Michelangelo acquired the stone for his sculptures. Intent on knowing more about this industry Ron brought his students to Carrara to carve with the masters. Ron has visited Carrara many times and now has an intimate knowledge of this incomparable marble, the place it is quarried, and the people who work it. Many of these trips were teaching junkets where Ron organized and supervised 12-14 students for three weeks of carving, touring, and studio visits.
Ron has created a number of public artworks. Some on a monumental scale such as the 9-11 Memorial, at Webb Field and Central Ave in Hartsdale, NY (2,000 Westchester residents contributed to the project by personalizing tiles).