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The artist with David Shimotakahara, Executive Artistic Director, Groundworks DanceTheatre at Suite 215 Gallery Third Friday, October 2022.

The artist with Sylvester Stallone during Art at the Arnold Painting Competition, March 2008.

“He who binds to himself a joy, does the winged life destroy;

 He who kisses the joy as it flies, lives in eternity's sunrise.”

(William Blake)

Dance expresses an incredible sense of life and movement. Observing and drawing from dance has been a focus of my art for over 49 years, and has evolved many styles and iterations. Capturing the gesture and pose of human movement is challenging. Freezing the body’s form to capture its essence with just a few abstract lines is an art in itself. The human form is never still but in a continuous state of motion. My paintings are not unlike a calculus of form in time and space, a calligraphy, or fluid hieroglyphics. Color, texture and layering appropriate a cultural artifact of movementand expression. 

 

I see in human movement a reflection of unique identity. I have always been fascinated with figurative movement, from watching dancing teenagers on first dates in the 1960s to the strobe-filled world of disco with the colorful, highlighted outlines of couples. Humanity is a dance to the death, and I try to capture life’s color and movement by capturing the odd angles and juxtapositions I see in life. Through paint and composition in two dimensions I attempt to create an abstracted world of human energy and andromorphic meaning. The results are asemic calligraphy driven by figurative gesture of beauty, grace, strength, balance, and rhythm.

I find joy in painting with music, with the steady beats of rock n roll, the harmonies of folk, the rhythms and improvisations of jazz, and the
power of soul, and music provides a steady background to working. The impulses that direct my work comes from years of sketching from dancers, from ballet to contemporary modern dance. 

 

My latest works evolve from a 2022 workshop with Groundworks Dance Theater in Cleveland, Ohio. I studied rehearsals and performances by the dancers, whose innovative moves inspired even more free flowing calligraphy and further development of the body languages I work
with. Combined with the dancers/marks, my works synthesize time/place, rhythmic form, and visual energy. I hope these artworks inspire viewers to feel the full juxtaposition of life, music, and dance as I
“catch the joy as it flies.” 

1976 B.F.A. (Painting) Rhode Island School of Design
2004 M.A. (Art Education) The Ohio State University

 

Solo Exhibitions

2022

Suite215 Gallery, 78th Street Studios, Lakewood, OH
2019

Lancaster Festival, Lancaster, Ohio

2015      

Wilkes Gallery, Ohio University-Lancaster, Lancaster, OH

2014      

Ohio Arts Council, Spotlight: Featured Artists at the Ohio Governor's Residence, Bexley, OH
2013      

Garret Gallery, Lancaster, OH

2012

Lancaster Festival, Lancaster, OH

2010

Lancaster Festival, Lancaster, Oh

2008

Lancaster Festival, Garret Gallery, Lancaster, OH

2006

Lancaster Festival, Lancaster, OH

2005

Textillery Gallery, Bloomington, IN          
Turkaly Art Gallery, Cleveland, OH

2004      

Studio B, Columbus, OH

2002      

Lanning Gallery, Columbus, OH

2001      

Wilkes Gallery, Ohio University-Lancaster, Lancaster, OH

2000

The Arts Castle, Delaware Arts Council, Delaware, OH     
Lanning Gallery, Columbus, OH  Garret Gallery, Lancaster, OH

1999

Mt. Vernon Nazarene College Art Gallery, Mt. Vernon, OH
Hoyt Institute of Fine Art, New Castle, PA

1998

Lanning Gallery, Columbus, Ohio
Lancaster Festival, Lancaster, Ohio

1997

Northwood Gallery, Midland, Michigan
Lancaster Festival, Lancaster, Ohio

1996

Lanning Gallery, Columbus, Ohio
Lancaster Festival, Lancaster, Ohio

1995

Pump House Gallery, Chillicothe, Ohio
Metropolis Gallery, "Gesture and Identities," Seattle, Washington
Lancaster Festival, Lancaster, Ohio

1994

Lancaster Festival, "New Visions," Lancaster, Ohio

1993

Lancaster Festival, "Small Works," Lancaster, Ohio
Ohio State University, "Figures In Motion," Columbus, Ohio

1992

Garret Gallery, "Motion Pictures," Lancaster, Ohio
Lancaster Festival, "Playing Fields," Lancaster, Ohio

1975

Woods-Gerry Gallery, Providence, Rhode Island

Group Exhibitions

2023

Ohio Art League Fall Exhibition, Schumacher Gallery, Bexley, OH
Artist Archives of Western Reserve, "NewNow 2023" biannual, Tri-C Gallery East, Beachwood, OH
Hildebrandt Collective, "Living in the USA" group exhibition, Cleveland, OH
47th Fairmount Art Exhibition, Fairmount Center for the Arts, Novelty, OH
Pinwheel Gallery, Old Brooklyn, OH
52nd Annual Gates Mills Art Show, Gates Mills, OH
Stella's Art Gallery, "In Honor of Women'" Willoughby, OH
Bryn Du 19th Spring Exhibition, Granville, OH
Artist Archives of Western Reserve, 2023 Annual Members Exhibition, Cleveland, OH
Worthington Yards, "Foot Squared," Cleveland, OH
Artful Cleveland, "Community of Artists Exhibition," Cleveland Heights, OH
Stella's Art Gallery, "Black and White'" Willoughby, OH

2022

ArtFair14C, Jersey City, NJ
ARTFUL Open Studios, Cleveland Heights, OH
Stella’s Art Gallery, Willoughby, OH
Bryn Du 18th Spring Exhibition, Granville, OH
Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition, Columbus, OH
Mayfield Art Show, Mayfield, OH

2021

ARTFUL Open Studios, Cleveland Heights, OH

2020

Valley Art Center, 49th Fall Exhibition, Chagrin Falls, OH

2020       Moved to Cleveland, Ohio

2019

Ohio Art League, Fall Exhibition, Columbus Cultural Arts Center, Columbus, OH

Ohio Art League, Spring Exhibition, Artspace, Denison University, Newark, OH

2018

Ohio Art League, Fall Exhibition, Shot Tower, Fort Hayes MEC, Columbus, OH

2017

Ohio University Art Gallery, “State of the Arts: Celebrating High School Art Educators,” Athens, OH

Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition, Columbus, OH

2016

Ohio University Art Gallery, “State of the Arts: Celebrating High School Art Educators,” Athens, OH

Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition, Columbus, OH

2015

Ohio University Art Gallery, “State of the Arts: Celebrating High School Art Educators,” Athens, OH

2013

Mason Muher Gallery, “Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series Regional Finalist Exhibition,” Atlanta, GA

2012

Gallery M. Collections, Granville, OH

2011

Gallery M. Collections, Granville, OH

2010

Columbus Convention Center, "Art At The Arnold" Juried Competition, Columbus, OH     

Gallery M. Collections, Granville, OH
Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, Lancaster, OH

2009

Columbus Convention Center, "Art At The Arnold" Juried Competition, Columbus, Ohio
Columbus Museum of Art, "Remembering Russell" Juried Plein Air Competition, Columbus, OH

2008

Ohio Arts Council OVAR Annual Juried Show, Columbus Metropolitan Library, Columbus, OH

2005

Studio at Gallery B, Lancaster, OH

2004

National Exhibition, Contemporary Artists Center, North Adams, MA

2003

Acme Art Company, Columbus, OH

Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition, Columbus, OH

2002

National Exhibition, Center For The Visual Arts, Wausau, WI         

Exit Art, "Reactions," New York, NY
Art and Clay Gallery, Lancaster, OH
Lanning Gallery, Columbus, OH

2001 

Buckham Gallery, "Out of Line: Element and Essence," Flint, MI
Lanning Gallery, Columbus, OH
Art and Clay Gallery, Lancaster, OH
2000

Art and Clay Gallery, Lancaster, OH
Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach, FL
Lanning Gallery, Columbus, OH
1999

Art and Clay Gallery, Lancaster, OH

Lanning Gallery, Columbus, OH
1998

Lanning Gallery, Columbus, OH
Buckham Gallery, "Gesture/Pattern/Line," Flint, Michigan
Northwood Gallery, "Swimming Pools," Midland, Michigan
1997

Mesa Art Center, "Coming Home," Mesa, Arizona
Sinclair Community College, Dayton, OH
Art Center of Northern New Jersey, New Milford, New Jersey
Buckham Gallery, Regional Exhibition, "Genius Of Place," Flint, Michigan
Lanning Gallery, Columbus, OH
1996

Cincinnati Art On The Square, Cincinnati, OH
Lanning Gallery, Columbus, OH
1995

Yeiser Art Center, "Paducah '95," Paducah, Kentucky
Trumbull Art Gallery, Warren, OH
Lanning Gallery, Columbus, OH
ARTLINK, "Painting '95," Fort Wayne, Indiana
Gallery V, Columbus, OH
1994

Huntington Museum of Art, "Works On Walls: 280," Huntington, West Virginia
Gallery V, Columbus, Ohio
Fall Exhibition For The Columbus Art League, Columbus, Ohio
1993

Armory Art Center, West Palm Beach, Florida     

1993

Galesburg Civic Art Center, Galesburg, Illinois
Fort Hayes School For the Visual Arts, Columbus, Ohio
Ambrosia Gallery, Columbus, Ohio
Galerie Especial, Columbus, Ohio
1992

Ambrosia Gallery, Columbus, Ohio
Acme Art Co., Columbus, Ohio
1991

Roberta Kuhn Gallery, Columbus, Ohio
Ohio State Fair Fine Arts Exhibition, Columbus, Ohio
1978

Columbus Museum of Art, "Columbus Art League May Show," Columbus, Ohio
1976

Columbus Museum of Art, "Columbus Art League May Show," Columbus, Ohio
1975

Newport Art Association, Newport, Rhode Island
Roger Williams College, "Southeastern New England Painting Festival," Bristol, Rhode Island

 

Corporate & Noteworthy Private Collections
JP Morgan Chase, Polaris Headquarters, Columbus, OH
Bank of America, New York, NY
Stifel Investments, Lancaster, OH
Mr. and Mrs. Sylvester Stallone, Hollywood, CA
Brian Alexander, San Diego, CA

Awards
2023       Ohio Arts Council, ADAP Grant
2022       Stella’s Art Gallery, First Place, Bricolage, Willoughby, OH
2022       Mayfield Village Art Show, First Place, Mayfield Village, OH
2019       Lancaster Festival Artwalk, Best of Show
2014       Ohio Arts Council, Spotlight: Featured Artists at the Ohio Governor's Residence, Bexley, OH
2010       Sylvester Stallone Judge’s Choice Award, Art at the Arnold, Columbus, OH
2008       Commissioned poster artist for the Lancaster Festival, Lancaster, OH
2003

Award of Merit, Ohio Arts Council, Ohio State Fair, Columbus, OH
2001 

Exhibition Honorarium, Ohio University-Lancaster, Lancaster, OH
2000

Exhibition Honorarium, Delaware Arts Council, Delaware, OH
1999

Exhibition Honorarium, Mt. Vernon Nazarene College Art Gallery, Mt. Vernon, OH
1997

Art International ’97, 2nd Place in International Competition. Nutley, NJ
1992

Ohio Arts Council, Professional Development Assistance Grant
1975

Southeastern New England Painting Festival, First Prize Professional Category, Bristol, RI


Critical Reviews and Catalogues

The Columbus Dispatch, April 4, 2004, “Ice Hockey Portrayed In Kinetic Abstraction” review by Jacqueline Hall
Columbus Alive, March 31, 2004, “Wright Stuff,” exhibition review by Tracy Zollinger Turner
The Columbus Dispatch, August 10,2003, “Festive Display Blends Styles,” exhibition review by Christopher A. Yates
The Columbus Dispatch, May 22,2002, “Painter Sorts Out Fascination With Consumer Culture,” exhibition review by Christopher A. Yates
Short North Gazette, June 2, 2002, “Luminaries Light Up the Lanning,” group exhibition review by Elizabeth Ann James
The New York Times, February 1, 2002, “Amid the Ashes, Creativity,” group exhibition review by Holland Cotter
The Flint Journal (Flint, MI), June 17, 2001, “Exhibit Makes Most of Lines,” exhibition review by Christopher R. Young
The Columbus Dispatch, December 31, 2000, “Year in Review: 2000 Best Exhibits,” year-end survey of Top 14 exhibitions in Central Ohio by The Columbus Dispatch. “Robert S. Wright: Change + Motion Paintings and Drawings” (Lanning Gallery June 2000) was selected by Christopher A. Yates to be among top visual art exhibitions of year 2000.
The Columbus Dispatch, June 25, 2000, “Meaning, Motion Fill Thought-Provoking Works,” exhibition review by Christopher A. Yates
Palm Beach Post (Palm Beach, FL), “Shades of Renaissance in Art Show,” exhibition review by Gary Schwan
The Flint Journal (Flint, MI), June 21, 1998, “Buckham Puts Spotlight on Two Painters, 2 Ceramicists,” exhibition review by Jan Worth
Buckham Gallery (Flint, MI) 1997 catalogue; The Genius of Place: The Great Lakes Regional Sensibility, group exhibition catalogue with Foreword by Michael D. Hall
The Columbus Dispatch, May 10, 1998, “Evocative Works Capture the Essence of Movement,” exhibition review by Sharon Kokot
Saginaw News (Saginaw, MI), June 14, 1997, “The Wright Stuff: Artist’s Acrylics A Moving Experience,” exhibition review by Darlene Damp
The Columbus Dispatch, August 18, 1996, “Helmets and Hues Contrast Old and New,” exhibition review by Jacqueline Hall
The Columbus Dispatch, November 10, 1995, “Works, Environments Merge in Art League Exhibit,” group exhibition review by Eva Helser
Huntington Museum of Art (Huntington, WV) 1994 catalogue: Works Off Walls Exhibition 280,” group exhibition catalogue with Foreword by Trudy Hansen
The Columbus Dispatch, February 28, 1993, “Elegant Imagery Expresses Unsettling Ideas,” exhibition review by Jacqueline Hall
Columbus Art journal, Spring 1993, “Phase Two: The Columbus Art League 8th Annual Curated Exhibition,” group exhibition review by Linda Himes

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