ron grenko: RIP. Art/Spirit is Forever

Ron Grenko : a tribute: RIP:life time artist:more…

When someone you cherish dies, it is like a whole library burns down (proverb) and the loss has a ripple effect/mourning and celebrating a life–in the best–well lived.

Ron was my dear friend too, he graced our lives and remains in spirit.

He passed over on Thurs. October 6th at 12:30 am 2016.

This posting is to get the word out, and to connect the people who need to know he stayed with us as long as he could. Now he has passed over, on the last amazing journey which unveils itself…

Ron was a studio mechanic, a teamster, and a conceptual artist. Mostly known for being a crazy artist

Each of us who knew Ron, will share the stories of his life how it impacted our own. A lifetime Chicagoan and hardworking proud Union Member of Studio Mechanics Local 476  and the Teamsters Local 727 – both of they called him Brother Ron. He embraced the work and art dually. The people he spent many hours/decades with, as family. I knew him for decades…As a conceptual artist and photographer, Ron Grenko was a man with many dimensions, talents and deep convictions. He upheld rights and personal freedoms. I want to share herein, a few== of the art/projects he recently engaged: in an indie film, co-published a book with the group, “langoliers photo collective: David Bechtol, Nancy Bechtol, Ron Grenko and Hermann Wieland: the “O’Hare Expansion Project” released, 2011. limited edition. and he often enjoyed the alternative gallery event space for the last 5 years at the 2nd Saturday event at The Lost Artists Colony (owner/entrepreneur Mark Thomas of the Alley) Ron and I co-created work there, he often used aliases as an artist–many.(smile.)

Ron’s art spans decades, since he was a photography student in the 70s at The School of the Art Institute of Chicago. he earned MFA degree in art and also in Education. (also another Chicago College, which I forget at this time…) A Photographer is in the collection of the Art Institute of Chicago. He studied with Barbara Crane, as well as several other noted photographers, Harry Callahan and more.Recently he showed me his “Lifetime Artist” card from SFMOMA which he is in the collection…and Always more..much more..

Ron was with the legendary venues beret international, uncomfortable spaces, tough gallery and showed at ARC Gallery, Chicago.

“Free Speech & the Transcendent Journey of Chris Drew, Street Artist” Indie feature doc film (99 min) (below)IS now available on to stream or DVD: my friend RON was KEY to making this film happen. Both photography, backup on the streets during the challenge, along with Hermann Wieland,and in the credits, right and to the end…. This social justice documentary indie made in Chicago. Produced by Shadow Bechtol Studio, with David Bechtol and Features the indie music by Behind the Sun.(Alton & Mansfield)

Ron can be seen in the film several times, most notably in the beginning wearing an orange coat (making him , as he said “invisible”. (he was an extraordinary “conceptual artist)

Link for getting film on

Listed on IMDb

Know that he died peacefully in the end. His eyes were donated, fitting for a photographer, so someone will have vision.  Comfort each other and celebrate his life. As long as you remember him, he is with you.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Intuit Gallery of Outsider Art – Chicago.. or support your local artist – buy LOCAL ART! and Support the Unions!. Ron was a longtime artist and understood, member/supporter and enjoyed

(I will look for more to share, as time allows, that is.all for now...or as Ron would say “readyyyy…set…ready? GO!” )

written by Nancy Bechtol. Oct. 6, 2016

A memorial screening of this film —he was deeply involved as crew member and photographer– is being planned at Intuit Gallery early November.(Nov 6, Sunday at 11 am–to be confirmed)  all donations will go to Intuit, since Ron was a Longtime member and supporter. Please come.

Nancy Bechtol

Shadow Bechtol Studio/Artist; Photographer/Media Specialist; APA Photojournalist

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