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"From Pittsburg to the World: The Inspiring Artistic Journey of Dr. Ronald McDowell"

Dr. Ronald McDowell is an internationally acclaimed artist, known for his museum-quality works of art that include sculptures, murals, and portraits. However, before he became a master of almost every medium, he was a boy from Pittsburg, California.

Growing up in Pittsburg was not easy for Dr. McDowell. His remarkable artistic ability, which surfaced when he was only 11 months old, made him a target for bullying by other children in the neighborhood. His own brothers even punched him, thinking they could teach him how to fight. But instead of turning to violence, Dr. McDowell found solace in his art.

His art became his escape from the pain of being bullied. He created big-eyed characters he called B'Donnie art, and over the years, his artistic skills grew, and he became a master of almost every medium.

Despite the difficulties he faced, Dr. McDowell always remained proud of his roots in Pittsburg. He left the city to pursue his artistic dreams, but he never forgot where he came from. His artistic talents and accomplishments have brought him recognition and honors, including an honorary doctorate from the University at West Alabama and a teaching position at Tuskegee University.

Dr. McDowell's works have been commissioned by numerous institutions, including cities, national parks, universities, and major organizations. Some of his most notable public artworks include a 17-foot-tall mural called "Moving Forward - Justice is Blind," a life-sized statue of Motown legend Eddie Kendricks in a Birmingham city park, and a statue honoring Nina Miglionico in Linn Park.

His commissioned portraits have become family heirlooms, and he has painted portraits of every musician inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame. He has also created a stunning montage for the Motown Heroes and Legends Awards (HAL) Silver Anniversary and a mural created for the Jefferson County Courthouse in Birmingham to counterbalance offensive artwork that has been on display since the 1930s.

Despite the challenges he faced as a child, Dr. McDowell has become one of the greatest artists of his generation. He continues to inspire others, including those in his hometown of Pittsburg, with his incredible works of art that embody his journey from a boy with a remarkable artistic ability to an internationally acclaimed artist.

Dr. Ronald McDowell has had the privilege of working with numerous celebrities throughout his career as an artist. His work at Motown Records in Los Angeles allowed him to paint some of the biggest names in music, including Michael Jackson, Diana Ross, Marvin Gaye, and many others.

In fact, Michael Jackson asked Dr. McDowell to teach him art techniques, and he went on to give Jackson art lessons for 12 years. Dr. McDowell was also an art consultant for Jackson's "Thriller" album. Dr. McDowell has also painted portraits of almost every president at Tuskegee University, including Dr. Lily McNair, the first woman president of the school.

Dr. McDowell's ability to capture the essence of his subjects is unparalleled. His commissioned portraits have become family heirlooms, and his Montages, which blend multiple images into a single cohesive work of art, have been highly sought after by collectors.

Dr. McDowell's love for music has also been reflected in his artworks. He has painted portraits of every musician inducted into the Alabama Music Hall of Fame and created a stunning montage for the Motown Heroes and Legends Awards (HAL) Silver Anniversary.

Despite his many accomplishments, Dr. McDowell remains humble and focused on creating art that inspires and resonates with people. His work with celebrities has allowed him to capture their essence on canvas and make them come alive for generations to come.

Renowned artist Dr. Ronald McDowell has returned to his hometown of Pittsburg, California, after 35 years in Alabama to teach art classes for children at the Pittsburg Youth Development Center. McDowell, who is self-taught, has completed over 2,000 works, including sketches inside Michael Jackson's "Thriller" album and sculptures of civil rights leaders and Motown legends. McDowell hopes to produce more public art in Pittsburg, but also believes that children "need art really badly" and is keen to work with them. The youth center is run by volunteers and offers a low-cost art program, as well as programs for sports, literacy, and nutrition.

"Thriller" is widely considered one of Michael Jackson's most iconic songs and has become a cultural phenomenon since its release. Its music video, directed by John Landis, was groundbreaking for its time, featuring a storyline, special effects, and intricate dance sequences. The video's popularity helped to cement "Thriller" as a Halloween classic and helped to establish Michael Jackson as a pop icon.

Source: Information about Dr. Ronald McDowell was obtained from his official website,

Source: The information about Dr. Ronald McDowell's life and career was obtained from an article titled "Torture & Talent Have Shaped His Life: The Ronald McDowell Story," published on The Adams Report website,

“Ronald S. McDowell Goes Back Home Again to Teach Art at Pittsburg Youth Center.” East Bay Times, 1 Feb. 2019,

“Michael Jackson – Thriller (Lyrics).” Genius, 2016,

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