Ronna Neuenschwander is a well-known Portland artist who has been actively working and showing in the Northwest since 1977. Her unique sculptures are informed by her experiences in the United States and Mali, Africa- and her family, which bridges both countries. The work blends African and American elements though the use of natural and recycled materials. Ceramic is Neuenschwander’s primary media, but she also uses natural and recycled materials to create mosaic surfaces that enliven her figures with a dignity and playful elegance. Her work is represented in many collections including the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian, Washington, D.C. and Portland Art Museum, Oregon.
Of her work and travels, Neuenschwander reflects: "As I become more accustomed to floating between an affluent country, and one labeled 'one of the 4 poorest countries in the world', I see more clearly the riches and poverties of both places. Mythologies and politics of daily life in both homes become easier to translate into my vocabulary of imagery."