In his abstract “constructed paintings,” Richmond’s Cameron Wilson Ritcher often uses weathered and reclaimed materials.
The artist: Born in Carbondale, IL, Ritcher grew up in Harrisonburg, VA.
He credits his grade-school art education as integral to his development and success as an artist.
Before he decided to focus on art, Ritcher explored many interests, including paleontology, playing the trumpet and mountain bike racing. In high school, he showed his art work at local galleries, coffee shops and student exhibitions.
He continued his art studies at James Madison University (JMU) and graduated in 2017 with a BS in studio art as well as a pre-k-12 visual arts teaching licensure.
After college, he moved to the greater Richmond area for a part-time elementary art teaching job, which he quit in 2019.
The company/studio: Cameron Wilson Ritcher, the artist and company, are based in Richmond. Ritcher has been exhibiting and selling his work since 2013, and now works out of his home studio in Richmond,
The art: Two-dimensional assemblages, which Ritcher calls “constructed paintings.” The works are mostly flat with weathered textured surfaces and an occasional relief element.
The materials: One-quarter-inch plywood and often pieces of molding, trim or other found objects painted mostly with house paint.
The process: Paints, then cuts the wood pieces before he reassembles them.
What’s popular: Abstract works that are 24 inches by 24 inches ($3,300). Also squares, ranging from 12 inches by 12-inches, ($2,300) to 60 inches by 60 inches ($9,000) — and occasionally larger.
Other favorites: Tall, skinny pieces (12×60″, $4,500) called “Stacks.”
- Architect Louis Kahn once said, “Even a brick wants to be something,” pioneering a materials-based approach to his work.
“I enjoy thinking about my work the same way,” said Ritcher. “What does this scrap of wood or this rusted bucket of salvaged house paint want to be?”
- The materials used to create a work of art always contribute to its meaning, whether intentional or not.
“I like to play a game in the studio where the only rule is that I cannot buy new materials,” said Ritcher. “Instead, I try to convince myself that there is already a good painting somewhere in my studio from previous works and housing renovations.”
- Vintage board games found in his grandpa’s cabinets. Ritcher has used shapes and icons referencing board games in his recent work.
Fun, special or unusual requests:
- A friend’s mom paid him $40 to wear her pants while painting, so that she could have her own pair of pants that look like the ones he painted in.
Big break (s):
- In 2019, TEW Galleries in Atlanta was the first major gallery to represent his work. Ritcher, now 26, is the youngest artist the gallery has represented.
- Crate & Barrel is releasing two of his works as prints this fall.
- Ritcher’s alma mater, JMU, has purchased and commissioned several of his works.
- His work is in the private collections of Della Watkins, director of the Columbia Museum of Art and Braden Holtby, former goalie for the Washington Capitals.
- Developing minimalist resin pieces that play with light and color relationships.
- Started working with Sorelle Gallery in Westport, CT, and Hidell Brooks Gallery in Charlotte.
- The “Salon Style”exhibition at TEW Galleries in Atlanta, opening July 15.
- A two-person exhibition in 2023 at TEW Galleries.
Where to buy: Several places, including:
- Instagram: @cameronwilsonritcher
- Facebook: cameron.ritcher