Robert Ellison was born in Detroit, Michigan in 1946. He received his BFA and MFA from Michigan State University. His art experience spans over three decades and includes many public and corporate, large scale, permanently sited commissions located from Providence, Rhode Island to Santa Rosa, California to Anchorage, Alaska.
Temporary installations include sites at the San Francisco Civic Center Plaza, Oakland City Center, City of Mountain View City Hall, U.S. Dept. of Energy Fermi-Lab, Syntex Corp., American President Lines Inc., and a wealth of other corporate, municipal and private settings. His works can be found in the private collections many prominent citizens worldwide, including Renee DiRosa’s Preserve in Napa, California. He has also had numerous national and international gallery exhibitions. Mr. Ellison is well known for his public performance, the "Unveiling of Four Times Daily", which took place on San Francisco Bay in the late 1970’s and was documented by Bravura Films.
He has given more than 50 lectures on his steel sculptures and his sculptural ceramics, as well as taught at Michigan State University, Lansing Community College, College of Marin and the San Francisco Academy of Art College. He has made approximately 25 television appearances and two documentary films have been produced about his sculptures; "Four Times Daily" (Bravura Films, San Francisco, CA) and "Donut Diorama" (Chris Robson, Sausalito, CA). Mr. Ellison has also received 1st Place at the 21st Annual All California Show, 1st Place Award in the Detroit Institute of Arts Competition, Purchase Prize at the San Francisco Arts Festival, Purchase Recommendation in the "Peoples Choice Project", and been a Featured Exhibitor at the Bicentennial San Francisco Art Festival. He is also listed in "Who’s Who in American Art" and "Who’s Who in the World".
In 2005 Robert began to develop the early symptoms of ALS, commonly known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, and was fully diagnosed with the disease in 2007. Despite this diagnosis, and the continued decline of his body, he continued to design, build, and install sculpture with the support of a dedicated and talented team. Robert passed away in September 2012.