Ralph DeAnna was born in NYC in 1952 and grew up in Washington, D.C. His father, Peter DeAnna, was a local artist and worked as an illustrator at the Smithsonian Institution. Ralph attended art schools in Philadelphia, and graduated from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1974. After graduating, he returned to Washington and continued his art education, taking classes in landscape painting, which became his favorite genre.
In 1988, Ralph moved to Vermont. In 1989, he had a one-person show at Landmark College, and he helped found and became a charter member of Windham Art Gallery (WAG), an artist cooperative. During the ‘90s he often exhibited at WAG, and helped curate shows by other local artists. DeAnna organized and ran a weekly figure drawing group at WAG that ran for 18 years. During this period, he also exhibited at Stratton Art Festival, Haystack Art on the Mountain, Gallery Northstar, and Southern Vermont Arts Center, as well as Studio Gallery in Washington DC.
In 2005, DeAnna began to experiment with how to depict the passage of time in a painting. These early time paintings were exhibited first at Parker Gallery in D.C., then at Brattleboro Museum and Art Center in a show titled “Time and Motion.” His one-person show in May of 2017, at 118 Eliot, entitled “Ralph DeAnna: The Reflective Eye,” featured the most recent works in his time series. An exhibit later that year at The River Garden Gallery, “Drawings and Paintings: 1990-2010,” highlighted earlier work from several stages of DeAnna’s career.