Ronald Jackson is deeply influenced by both his childhood upbringing, as well as his adult experiences, immersed in a number a cultures though his time spent in the United States Army. Growing up in the rural South of the Arkansas Delta, Ronald Jackson was the youngest of eleven children born to a farmer and a community organizer. His mother and father left a legacy of challenging and reshaping the norms of the racial status quo in his surrounding home communities. Jackson comes from a lineage of black landowners farming in the South. In the mid-sixties, his parents led communities in the organization of multiple boycotts against the establishment of local racial injustices. Despite suffering continual threats, harassments, and organized retaliations, their efforts eventually led to a US Court of Appeal’s decision, ruling in the favor of forcing the area school districts into full desegregation.
Jackson studied Architecture at Saddleback College in Mission Viejo CA before joining the United States Army. He served over twenty-one years in the Army and retired in 2014. Midway through his military career, Jackson began to develop himself as a professional artist. With no access to art school, Jackson engaged himself on a journey of self-discipline and personal discovery to realize his goal of becoming a self-taught artist. It was during this time as well, that global travel impacted and shaped his life perspective as the military afforded him the experience of living in a number of countries including South Korea, Belgium, Italy, Germany, Iraq, and Kuwait.
Through his paintings, Jackson seeks to capture intimate settings that function as gateways to ponder the complexities of the human experience and the societies that influence them. He believes a comprehensive catalog of unique experiences is veiled behind every silent gaze of the human expression. He seeks to facilitate and engagement between his work and the viewer using elements of mood and emotion, influenced by magical realism. Jackson refers to his work specifically as “non-urban art.” About his work, Jackson states, “Though I consider it neither rural art, nor is it specifically about rural life, I seek to reference time periods of the past that connects Black and Brown peoples in a non-urban context of which our close and distant ancestors lived. My goal is to create work that is visually poetic; aiming to create an interactive experience in which the viewer is compelled to ponder possibilities that are likely reflections of their own experiences.”