Ralph Gilbert received the M.F.A. degree from the University of California at Santa Barbara in 1972. He joined the School of Art and Design’s drawing, painting and printmaking faculty in 1986. Gilbert’s teaching philosophy emphasizes a solid grounding in the methodologies and history of drawing and composition, a thorough knowledge of painting technique, and, at the 3rd and 4th year and graduate levels, involvement with issues of narrative and the conjunction of form and content.
As a painter Gilbert engages in a process that begins with direct observation combined with invention and memory. Gilbert’s commissions include six historical, multicultural murals for the St. Paul Union Depot; 23 paintings for the Milken Archive of Jewish Music and the Milken Family Foundation; a mural for the Helene S. Mills Senior Center of Fulton County; and a 20 by 40 foot mural on the vaulted ceiling of the Visitor’s Center of the Piedmont Park Conservancy, funded by a grant from the Whitehead Foundation.