Rontherin Ratliff


Rontherin Ratliff is a mixed media sculptor. His work focuses on ideas of balance and the human condition. He blends functionality, aesthetic, context, and associations to address subjects of loneliness, loss, homesickness, memory, and the burdens we carry. For Ratliff, it’s steps of a journey in search of the equilibrium existing or nonexistent amidst life and art. Ratliff examines the metaphor of the body as a house where the mind dwells. Feeling at home or in harmony within including home as one's origin or domestic place. The work questions the sociocultural constructed concepts of self. With it, he contemplates reservations regarding home as a safe-haven where one experiences positive qualities such as security and comfort. Using architectural materials and domestic objects, his work explores the notion of internal versus external balance.

In 2009, Rontherin Ratliff led the artistic direction and co-creation of the set installation for the Works and Process production of Peter and the Wolf at the Guggenheim NYC.  In 2010, with support from the Joan Mitchell Foundation and the Contemporary Arts Center he was commissioned to create Sounds of a Crescent City, a large-scale sculpture for New Orleans Habitat For Humanity’s Musicians’ Village.  That same year, he was invited to exhibit Things That Float at Diverse Works in Texas for the exhibition “Understanding Water”.  Things That Float would later be included in other exhibitions, including “Vestiges/Trinitas” at Rebecca Randall Bryan Art Gallery in South Carolina, “Tank Drama” at The Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans, and “KATRINA THEN AND NOW: ARTISTS AS WITNESS PART II: The Rebirth of Art at Iris and B, Gerald Cantor Art Gallery in Massachusetts.  In 2012, he was awarded a Percent For Arts grant by the Arts Council of New Orleans to create Way Down Yonder in New Orleans, a site-specific public art sculpture at The New Orleans Mayer Branch Library.  In the course of this year, he was also selected to exhibit Revolve, a large-scale sculptural installation at the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans.  Revolve would later be featured in the exhibition “Art for Rights” sponsored by Amnesty International in New Orleans.  In 2014, he was invited to participate in the 7th Annual Gov Island Art Fair to install Mud Room, a site-specific installation in NY.  He was also a 2014 recipient of the Joan Mitchell Center Artist-In-Residence Program in New Orleans, which led to his series, Counterbalance.  Work from this series was on exhibition in “Convergence” at the Joan Mitchell Center Studios in New Orleans and later on view at the exhibition “Reverb” at the Contemporary Art Center in New Orleans.  Also in 2014, he was selected as one of the collaborating artists for the nationally acclaimed street art installation ExhibitBe, in New Orleans, where he created the site-specific installations Hanging In the Balance and Storm Clouds.  In 2015, the Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator and NPN/VAN awarded him with an artist residency in Miami, FL.  While in residency, he started on his series, Can’t Call Home.  Upon returning to New Orleans, he was invited to show pieces from Can’t Call Home in the exhibition “Expanded Media” at Tulane University’s Carroll Gallery in New Orleans.  Most recently, he co-founded Level Artist Collective with Ana Hernandez, Horton Humble, John Isiah Walton and Carl Joe Williams.  It is the result of an organic formation of painters, sculptors and writers whose different degrees of relations extend a multitude of connections.  Through cohesion and the merging of creative resources, the objective of Level Artist Collective is to cultivate a platform that promotes, supports and sustains their collective voice and vision.  Currently, Rontherin Ratliff is work is featured at the Ogden Museum Southern Art as part of the LEVEL Artist Collective exhaustion. On view in New Orleans till March 1, 2020


Level Artist Collective, New Orleans, LA; Member (2015-Present)

Antenna, New Orleans, LA. Member (2016-Present)



National Performance Network /Visual Artists Network, Annual Report & Directory


Artscope, Katrina Then and Now: Artist As Witness, Nov/Dec

The New Orleans Advocate, At the CAC, past, present and a bit of the future of post-Katrina art REVERB, Aug

NPR, After Katrina, Artists Found Inspiration in a Recovering City, Aug


Convergence, New Orleans Local Artist Studio Program at the Joan Mitchell Center

Reparation,Contemporary Artists from New Orleans,Imago Mundi

Emerge, Contemporary Arts Center New Orleans

The Times-Picayune,ExhibitBE,” A Spectacular Outdoor Graffiti Environment,” Nov


The Times-Picayune, Artist Sculpture Address Youth Gun Violence” Oct


YAYA! By Claudia Barker



Ana & Adeline Foundation Grant, New Orleans,LA


Artist Fellowship Award, Blights Out, New Orleans, LA

Founders Award, Adeline Edwards Foundations, New Orleans, LA


Adeline Edwards Foundations Grant, New Orleans, LA


Percent For Arts Grant, Arts Council of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA


Joan Mitchell Foundation, Emergency Grant Program, New York, NY



Court 13, New Orleans, LA Elsewhere, Greensboro, NC


NPN/VAN with Diaspora Vibe Cultural Arts Incubator, Miami, FL


Joan Mitchell Center, New Orleans Artist Studio Program, New Orleans, LA

1998 Manicolo, Florence, Italy

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