Ron Swanson is known for his masterful woodworking, love of fine whiskey, and all things breakfast food. He’s a simple man who enjoys making things with his hands and playing jazz on the weekends. The unlikely Renaissance man, Ron’s biting critiques lend themselves to some of the best quotes on all aspects of life. Ron Swanson, the master craftsman who runs the Parks and Rec department in Pawnee, Indiana, holds nothing but contempt for the government system he runs.
In real life, the actor behind Ron’s character, Nick Offerman, supplemented his income while studying theatre at The University of Illinois by working in the scenery shop. The real-life master craftsman and woodworker even designed and built a gazebo on display at his alma mater on the grounds of the Japan House. Offerman’s mentor, Shozo Sato, the designer of Japan House is a Professor Emeritus at The University of Illinois. Offerman’s understanding of the craft comes out in Ron Swanson’s personality and different creative endeavors. We imagine Ron Swanson is the exaggerated embodiment of Offerman if he had been forced to take a government job. Here’s a list of our favorite Ron Swanson quotes about art and food.
The Culinary Arts
- “Barbecues should be about one thing: good shared meat.”
- “Breakfast food can serve many purposes.”
- “Fishing is for sport only. Fish meat is practically a vegetable.”
- “I call this turf ‘n’ turf. It’s a 16-ounce T-bone and a 24-ounce porterhouse. Also, whiskey and a cigar. I am going to consume all of this at the same time because I am a free American.”
- “There has never been a sadness that can’t be cured by breakfast food.”
Ron Swanson quotes on Fine Art
- “That is a canvas sheet, the most versatile object known to man. It can be used to make tents, backpacks, shoes, stretchers, sails, tarpaulins, and I suppose, in the most dire of circumstances, it can be a surface on which to make art.”
- “Welcome to ‘Visions of Nature.’ This room has several paintings in it. Some are big; some are small. People did them, and they’re here now. I believe that after this is over, they’ll be hung in government buildings. Why the government is involved in an art show is beyond me. I also think it’s pointless for a human to paint scenes of nature when they could just go outside and stand in it. Anyway, please do not misinterpret the fact that I am talking right now as a genuine interest in art and attempt to discuss it with me further. End of speech.”
- “Encapsulate the spirit of melancholy. Easy. Boom, a sad desk. Boom, sad wall. It’s art. Anything is anything.”
Offerman played the character to perfection. His background in theatre and design only adds to the hilarious contempt his character has for fine art. What are some of your favorite Ron Swanson quotes?
Kaeley is a contemporary artist and cultural organizer who loves good espresso and a cold Coke Zero.