Miniatures From the Mind’s Eye of Ric Maledon is a temporary exhibit featuring work by the Tucson-based artist whose small-scale paintings and miniatures delve into an array of subjects from time machines & fairy tales, to the seven wonders of the ancient world and the conquest of the Americas. Maledon often fashions his miniatures from unusual containers such as a clock case, Tarahumara drum, tea caddy or birdcages. His elaborately detailed imagery, colorful palette and fanciful materials result in theatrical miniatures and small-scale paintings that challenge perceptions and delight the imagination with their whimsy.
Open June 2, 2015 through August 2, 2015
Included with museum admission. Free for members.
Looking back on his childhood Ric Maledon remembers being ten and writing in his diary “I want to be an artist.” Though his first interest was drawing, Maledon also enjoyed constructing miniature scenes while playing with his model railroad. His fascination with miniatures came from this experience. He was in awe of the fact that the model railroad layout allowed you to see a complete world all at once. Another favorite past time of the young Maledon was building model ships, dollhouses, American Bricks and Legos, but he especially loved theatrical sets. This interest led him to majoring in theatrical arts at the University of Oklahoma before studying painting and design at the University of Illinois, Chicago Circle campus.
Living in the city of Chicago offered Maledon an opportunity to see a wide range of artwork. Influential art forms he encountered at this time were medieval miniatures, Chinese ink landscape paintings, the Thorne Rooms at the Chicago Institute and Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle at the Museum of Science and Industry Chicago. Maledon found the immense detail in the medieval miniatures mesmerizing. Chinese ink paintings impressed him for their ability to create the illusions of space using simple brushstrokes. The Thorne Rooms and Colleen Moore’s Fairy Castle, which were so well-crafted, captivated him with their realism. Like these artists, Maledon wanted his worlds to elicit the desire on the part of the viewer to get lost in the artwork and feel like they were entering his little realms.
As his career got off the ground, Maledon spent some time doing remodeling and construction where he learned carpentry skills that have served him well both in large and small scale endeavors. Knowledge of architecture gained through this experience finds its way into the planning of his miniature rooms– whether realistic or invented spaces.
Since moving to Tucson, Ric Maledon has been working as a painter, exhibiting his large-scale acrylic paintings of the desert landscape and the architecture of the southwest in local galleries. A visit to The Mini Time Machine Museum rekindled his love of miniatures and inspired him to build a miniature time machine. This project led to more small scale projects- several fanciful roomboxes and a shift away from predominately large scale paintings to small highly detailed narrative paintings which has been the focus of his work for the past two years.
Opening Reception– Meet the artist and enjoy refreshments on Thursday, June 4, 2015 from 5pm-7pm at the museum. Free for museum members. Call 520-881-0606 for information or to purchase tickets.
A Summer Activity Guide accompanies this exhibit. The guide is intended to engage young visitors (or the young at heart) with the exhibit and miniatures in the collection through a series of creative activities. Pick up the complimentary guide in the lobby.