Russ Ellis
(b. 1935)

Born in Los Angeles in 1935, Russ Ellis attended Compton high school, where he ran track and received an athletic scholarship to UCLA. In graduate school, at the onset of the counterculture movements of the ‘6os and inspired by his peers and the spirit of the time, he began to dabble in the arts. Expressionist painters Wassily Kandinsky, Edward Munch, Chaim Soutine, more recently, John Grillo, and the sculpture of pre-literate societies are among his inspirations.

 

Russ served in various administrative capacities at UC Berkeley and as professor of architecture dealing with social factors in architecture and urban design. Russ retired from UC Berkeley in 1994.

 

He began stone carving in the 1980s and moved to bronzes until the costs of copper became prohibitive. Currently, he makes things with the assistance of many talented Bay Area craftspeople, found objects and various materials at hand.

 

Russ is currently working on an exhibit of sculptures, paintings and wall works exploring the transfigurations of form, titled “Leaving Home: Scenes of Emigration.”