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Raymond Ronyak (1917 – 2010)
Raymond Ronyak was an artist with a career spanning over 75 years, having lived to the age of 93. He was WPA (Works Progress Administration) trained artist and he focused on portraiture though his landscapes are also beautifully done. WPA painters were hired and trained by the government to paint pictures and murals for public buildings like post offices, schools, etc. They developed a unique, often distinguishable style.
At the end of World War II he found himself in Salzburg, Austria working with the Red Cross and the displaced persons program. It was at that time he met and studied with many of Europe's accomplished portrait artists that had been displaced.
After returning stateside he completed his art education at the Minneapolis School of Art and Design. He was often seen in the galleries of the Minneapolis Art Institute painting copies of masterpieces with amazing craftsmanship.
For the rest of his life, art was his bride, having never married. Even though he was a prolific painter, his paintings are rarely seen on the secondary market. In addition to being an excellent artist, he was also a good musician.
Ronyak, died in 2010 in Crystal, Minnesota.