Ramona Otto grew up with Quaker parents in central Iowa. The inspiration for her work comes from traditional American folk art themes and the "make-do" attitude that was an important part of her upbringing in the 1950s. Her mixed media pieces are made with a desire to save and recycle the interesting vintage pieces that she finds battered and bruised at flea markets and yard sales. Many of the items bring back memories of middle America in the early to mid-twentieth century. She puts a "Treasure List" on each piece, listing the history of the found objects.
Ramona's series of American Flags was displayed in a solo show at Los Angeles City Hall. Her Watch Dog sculptures have appeared in a national ad campaign for The American Cancer Society and have been featured in several national magazines. Her solo show at the Craft and Folk Art Museum, in Los Angeles, An American Love Story: The Art of Ramona Otto, was named one of the Top Ten Things to Do in LA by Angeleno Magazine. Her work has appeared as the graphic design element for posters and CDs, has been a part of several museum shows, and is included in corporate collections.
Here are three views of my piece entitled "Holy Cow: Pray for Peaceful Coexistence." The cow is encrusted with vintage religious charms from all the major religions of the world, as well as peace charms and charms depicting people at the forefront of various peace movements, like Gandhi and Martin Luther King. The cow is perched on a vintage wooden store display from the 1940s and measures 49" x 20" x 44". I was inspired to make the piece because so many wars have begun over religion.