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Ray Troll's life goal has always been to be an artist. He earned a BA from Bethany College in 1977 and an MFA in studio arts from Washington State University in 1981. He moved to Alaska in 1983 to spend a summer helping his sister start a retail seafood store, got hooked on the area, and has remained in Alaska ever since.
Over the years, Troll has created artwork for various conservation organizations including the Sierra Club, Greenpeace, and the Southeast Alaska Conservation Council. Troll's unique blend of art and science culminated in his traveling exhibit, Dancing to the Fossil Record, which opened at the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco in 1995. The huge exhibit included Troll's original drawings, gigantic fossils, fish tanks, murals, an original soundtrack, a dance floor, and an interactive computer installation. The exhibit traveled to museums and aquariums across the country and ended four years later at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science, by which time it had grown to 14,000 square feet.
He has illustrated several children's books including Sharkabet: A Sea of Sharks from A to Z and Shocking Fish Tales (now out of print). His newest book, Something Fishy This Way Comes is a collection of his artwork.
He and his wife, Michelle, own and operate Soho Coho Contemporary Art and Craft Gallery, and live with their two teenaged kids, Corinna and Patrick, in Ketchikan, Alaska.