Tag Archives: art opening

Opening reception for artist Ralph Stein

(A)Ralph Stein

Members of SAFE honor a friend

Artist Ralph Stein never had a one-man show during his lifetime, but thanks to a group of West Marin supporters, that one-man show is happening in the lobby of the Dance Palace in Point Reyes Station from August 1 through September 14, 2014.

The opening reception and memorial for Ralph will be Saturday, August 9, from 3:00 to 6:00 pm. Refreshments will be served. Although Ralph lived all over the United States and in West Marin for just a few years he had a big impact on the community, judging by the outpouring of support he has received. Kathy Hart, who is spearheading the support team organizing the show and reception, has some thoughts about who he was. “I think of him as a kind of an itinerant Renaissance man who represents a period in my past; He painted, he was a photographer, he shot videos, he was an actor, he was an early opponent of the Vietnam War – he was an old hippy.”


He quickly endeared himself to the long established senior group, SAFE, when he became a member. He was more than six feet tall with a shock of white hair, so was easily recognizable as he rode around town on his bike with a high seat, or in his old VW bus painted in psychedelic colors. As one of the women at a recent SAFE meeting commented, “He had a certain dash about him.”


Shirley Salzmann, an artist herself, is curating the show of his work which had until recently been residing in a storage locker in Marshall.


According to his online bio, Ralph Stein was born in Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1928. He attended the University of Wisconsin at Madison, studied acting at the famed Goodman Theater in Chicago, and acted in stock companies in Milwaukee. In 1948, he moved to New York City to further his acting career.


As his interest in painting increased, he became a member of the Art Students League in Greenwich Village. He hung out with a number of well-known artists of the time including Jackson Pollack, William deKooning, Hans Hoffman and Robert Motherwell. He realized that he loved painting in the abstract expressionist style of Jackson Pollack. He moved to Sausalito for several years where he worked as a boat technician. Several years later he moved back to New York, then spent time in Nevada, and eventually returned to Sausalito and finally settled in West Marin.


This poem by Jody Farrell one of the support team for the reception seems to sum up Ralph’s personality:






In Memory of Ralph Stein 1928-2014

bike rider

long strider

avant painter

liberal debater

trail blazer

star gazer

green gazer

late arriver

gone too soon