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An overnight Success


For years, Ron Wilson has set up with sketchpad and pencils at the Cleveland Museum of Art, drawing the paintings and sculptures that fill the halls. But in late May, his work went viral when a curious onlooker snapped a photograph of him doing a graphite study of a painting—”Saint Mary Magdalene” by Simon Vouet—and then posted it to the popular online forum Reddit.

The exposure of the post caught the attention of an arts editor at The Huffington Post, who later profiled Wilson, director of the Case Western Reserve University/ Cleveland Play House MFA Acting Program. Wilson shrugs off the sudden attention, or “infamy,” as he calls it. For him, the arts are about searching for understanding and constantly learning—not fame or Internet success.

“There’s a joy that comes from having art in your life and keeping it in your life,” he says. “It enhances your existence, and people who do it love it for that reason.”


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