Sid Rheuban

(1924 - 2020)

Archived in 2005

Sid Rheuban


Sid Rheuban didn’t know he was an artist until he was in his late 60’s. He was always attracted to art, but never had a clue he could produce anything on his own. As an elementary school student in East Cleveland he attended the traditional Saturday morning art classes at the Cleveland Museum of Art. He worked in Washington, DC after high school while attending night classes. He used to spend almost every Sunday at the National Gallery of Art looking at the Impressionist works as a lift from everyday life. Back in Cleveland, Rheuban remembers being overcome with emotion upon first looking at Picasso’s “La Vie.”

The stimulus that re-introduced him to art appeared when he was about thirty five years old. Military Service, domestic strife, and trying to find a vocation brought him to a psychologist. Among other things, the psychologist suggested he take a creative art course to expand his various senses. He took a night class in painting at a local high school and copied Impressionist paintings, which his family enjoyed and even hung in their home. However, that was as far as he explored art before he came to realize he was an artist. After retiring from his job as a bond salesman, Rheuban felt he needed to find something to keep him busy since his wife still worked. He enrolled in a broad range of courses at Cuyahoga Community College and recalls one particular moment he had after several discouraging weeks:

“…We were asked to draw a kitchen utensil. I brought a corkscrew to class. I drew what I thought the corkscrew looked like but I had unconsciously drawn it with a distorted and “way-out” look. This was to become my signature style. The teacher held it up and said, “Class, forget everything I’ve said about Sid’s work. He has natural ability and will do better than me in the art world.