Meet the family. See their art...
Our Story by Linda Chido
For almost 30 years, Linda Chido and Ron Gross have made art together. Over the last seventeen years, they have created the life they wanted to
give to their children.
Now, they are building an art-full future with them.
I met Ron Gross in Buffalo, NY, late in the year of 1992 while we were both working at an "authentic" Texas BBQ restaurant. Now that we live in Texas, the irony is not lost on either of us! In January 1994, after I graduated with my masters degrees, we battled an epic East Coast blizzard to start making our way to San Francisco, CA, where Ron was going to attend the Academy of Art University. While in San Francisco, we both worked in our professional careers - me in architecture and urban design, Ron in advertising and copywriting, and made art in our spare time. We loved our time in San Francisco and stayed there until Ron finished school. After Ron graduated in 1998, we moved to Albuquerque, NM where we both continued with our professional careers and our art AND got married. NM was the first place we had a separate building as an art studio. Our time in NM was short and sweet but we had to move to where the work was so, we moved back to New York City and rented an apartment in Queens.
Our time in NYC was marked by the arts. We were both creating art, taking in all of the culture NYC has to offer, and we were regulars in the art scene. It was during this time that I sought out instruction in old master's painting techniques. The first year I went to Europe, Ron met me in Pisa, Italy for a long overdue honeymoon. And yes, it was very romantic. During the years between 2000 and 2004, we were immersed in the visionary art world in NYC and internationally. Not only was I exhibiting and traveling to Europe, I was also participating in exhibits at the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center (WAH Center), and had work touring the country through the Society for Art of Imagination, founded by Brigid Marlin. Who, by the way, I had the great honor of staying with at her home in England. We were also active outside of the visionary tribe - we exhibited a collaborative piece in the Brooklyn Museum and we were active in the local art collective in Queens.
In the summer of 2004, we got the surprise news that we were pregnant. We packed up our life in NYC and moved to Connecticut to start our family. It was during this time that I also packed up my painting studio because of its toxicity and turned to the fiber arts - knitting, crocheting, quilting, sewing and doll making. Two more cross country moves and three more kiddos later, we now live in Buda, Texas. Don't worry, that's not how this story ends!
I knew when I was pregnant with our first daughter, Mona Rae, that I wanted to homeschool. I was introduced to Waldorf schooling way before we ever had children and I knew that Waldorf was the path I wanted to take. The biggest reason for choosing Waldorf was that it was an art centric curriculum. Hands, head, heart is the mantra of Waldorf and I put a heavy emphasis on the hands part. It took me about three years of strictly adhering the curriculum before I started modifying things and inserting additional projects. Nothing to drastic at first - an extra project here, more handwork there. Though after awhile, I was designing huge art projects to coincide with what we were learning. We did knitting projects to learn math concepts, designed and built experiments for the sciences, and during history lessons, I really took a deep dive! To give you a couple of examples: when we studied the ancient scribes of Egypt, I order papyrus leaves from Egypt so we could make our own papyrus paper. When we got to the Middle Ages, we made an illuminated page with real gold leaf. My philosophy was, if we were going to learn about historical peoples and the art they made, I wanted to give the kids the experience of making that art as closely to historical accurate using modern materials. That basic idea just grew and grew as the years when on, to the point that by middle school, my kids were studying and making art at a very advanced level.
Now that I'm twelve years into my homeschooling journey and about to graduate Mona, my house is bursting with art. Quite literally! All of my kids draw every day and make art on the regular. Mona, both a visual artist and a gifted pianist, has chosen the arts as her path, and it's looking like the others will be following her. As for me, I've returned to my studio painting practice, recently had a solo show, and am building our family art business. Everyone is involved. We're learning about financial literacy and entrepreneurship as we educate ourselves on all of the systems needed to build a successful art business. And what about Ron? He's here supporting it all, still in marketing, and filling sketchbook after sketchbook with his daily crayon drawings.
We are always up to something and we are all constantly producing art. Who knows what is coming next but one thing for sure - it's gonna be filled with lots and lots of art. Subscribe to our email list below and follow along as we continue on our our creative journey.