Born in Corning, New York in 1954 and raised as an Air Force brat in a family
of 6 kids, Ray grew up in 11 different locales around the states and overseas.
Ever since he was knee high to a humpy Ray knew that being an artist was
his life's goal. He still wants to be one when he grows up. Ray moved
to Alaska in 1983 to spend a summer helping his sister start a seafood
retail store. The fish store is long gone but Ray is not. There's something
about Alaska that has kept four of the Troll siblings anchored there for
Ray earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Bethany College in Lindsborg,
Kansas in 1977 and an MFA in studio arts from Washington State University
in 1981. He is proud to be an honorary member of the Gilbert Ichthyological
Society, the Guild of Natural Science Illustrators & a lifetime
member of S.P.O.O.F. (the Society for the Protection of Old Fish).
Troll's unique blend of art and science culminated in his traveling
exhibit, "Dancing to the Fossil Record," a major show which
opened at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco in 1995.
The huge exhibit included Ray's original drawings, gigantic fossils,
fish tanks, murals, an original soundtrack, a dance floor and an interactive
computer installation. In 1997 the exhibit traveled to the Oregon Coast
Aquarium in Newport. In 1998 it hit the streets of Philadelphia at
the Academy of Natural Sciences.The tour ended in 1999 at the Denver
Museum of Nature and Science. By that time it had grown to 14,000 square
Ray currently has a new museum show on the road based on his new children's
book, "Sharkabet, a Sea of Sharks from A to Z". In addition
to "Sharkabet", Ray has illustrated 3 books with author Brad
Matsen : Shocking Fish Tales, Planet Ocean, and Raptors, Fossils, Fins & Fangs.
He has also done the illustrations for "Life's a Fish and then
You Fry" by chef Randy Bayliss.
He & his wife, Michelle, own & operate the SOHO COHO Contemporary
Art & Craft Gallery, located on a spawning stream in the former
red light district of Ketchikan. The gallery features Ray's own artwork,
t-shirts and fish juju, as well as original artwork by other local
When not at the drawing board, Ray's hanging out with his two teenage
kids, Corinna & Patrick. Ray is an avid fossil collecting rockhound
and, of course, an ardent angler with questionable fishing skills.
- Meet Terry Pyles