Ron Bechet was born in New Orleans and lives in the Gentilly neighborhood. He began his college career with an athletic scholarship at Mississippi State University but returned to study art at the University of New Orleans where he earned a B.A. degree. He went on to earn an MFA degree in Painting from Yale University School of Art. He is known for intimate large-scale drawings and paintings. This work is inspired by his experiences and observations of the consequences of forces of nature and time, on place and the human experience. For Bechet, his improvisational mark making is grounded on those experiences and in the cultural practices ofthe African diaspora and New Orleans African-American culture and ritual. In the work, the revelation of the effects of terrain, light, and water symbolize human contention and harmony, and ultimately the hope of reconciliation and spiritual transformation. In addition to his studio practice, he has worked on several community-based projects using the arts in collaboration with other artists and community members. He is also the Victor H. Labat Professor of Art at Xavier University of Louisiana where he has been teaching for more than twenty years.
Believing i reciprocity and giving, he is an active community member currently serving as Chair of the Joan Mitchell Foundation Board of Directors and as a member of the board of Trustees at the Ogden Museum of Art as well as Antenna Works in New Orleans.