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Art & Life with Robert Mcknight

Today we’d like to introduce you to Robert Mcknight.

Robert, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I was born June 11, 1951, in Kingstree, SC. and moved to Miami with his family in 1953. From early childhood, I have always excelled in art. While attending Killian High School, he studied painting at The Miami Art Center located on Kendall Drive.

I went on to study fine arts at Syracuse University, receiving a BFA in Painting in 1974, and as part of my work at Syracuse studied sculpture in London at the Sir John Cass School of Art from 1971-72. Upon my return, I worked at Miami’s Metrozoo as an exhibit designer specializing in the design and construction of the artificial rock facades. Later I worked with Rock & Waterscape Systems of California at Disney World in Orlando and throughout the southeastern United States and the Caribbean.

I have always been active in the fine arts, exhibiting extensively throughout South Florida and the southeastern states. I have been fortunate to realized various major public artworks in Miami: wood collage panels at the North County Health Center (for Metro-Dade Art in Public Spaces); mosaic murals at the Pinnacle Park Apartment Complex (City of Miami Art Advisory Board commission); an environmental work with waterfall, lake, rainforest, and stream, incorporating bird sanctuary and swimming pool for pre-school children, at St.Thomas the Apostle Catholic Church, a porcelain tile mosaic work at the Little Haiti Cultural Center and the extensive porcelain and screened murals on aluminum at 3 Miami Central the Brightlines Office Complex in the Overtown area of Miami.

I have had numerous solo shows and has participated in group exhibitions at the Lowe Art Museum (University of Miami), the Miami- Dade College North Campus Art Gallery, the Art Gallery at Florida Atlantic University in Boca Raton, Gallery Antigua, Amdalozi Gallery at the African Heritage Cultural Center in Miami’s Liberty City numerous times as part of the KUUMBA Artist Collective, Green Light Art Space, The Bakehouse Art Complex, Farside Gallery, among others. As a member of The Miami Black Artist Workshop in the1970’s and KUUMBA Artist Collective, I have worked to generate opportunities for greater professional visibility for African-American and African artist. Says “My mission as an artist is to create works that are individual in style and content reflecting my heart and soul, stretching the poetic and artistic license in both material and content.” I have paid inspired and consistent tribute to my cultural heritage in my efforts on behalf of other artists, and I have added to that heritage through the power and originality of my art.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I have many ways and types of art that I create. I am by nature prone to being a person that is inquisitive and flighty. I am spontaneous by nature, and it comes out in my art. I tend to use materials that are readily available to me or assigned to me due to the project that I am working on at a particular time. I find that the Digital media is one that allows me to conceive and develop Ideas. I can take my drawings and incorporate my photos creating specialized images and in some cases reproduce in printed form, I have taken those images and torn them up remixing them with drawings and other Images.

I collect wood and other objects and use them in the same manner combining them in a spontaneous manner as the arrange speaks to me. I am a Collagist I use the material at hand in an intuitive way to create a poetic phrase that speaks through the basic rules of design and aesthetic hand down over the centuries that mankind has use art a means of expression and communication. I would hope that my work reinforces and encourages the creative spirit of Mankind. My work is about a creative spirit that I would hope that spreads to other areas of our lives opening our minds to bold, intuitive, creative thinking.

What responsibility, if any, do you think artists have to use their art to help alleviate problems faced by others? Has your art been affected by issues you’ve concerned about?
No Artist have always reacted to the thing going on around them. Nowadays with the rapid speed that we hear about world events, we expect an artist like everyone else to react and comment at that same speed. Artist from past and present take on issues that either is requested due to shows and commissions, then an artist like most of us needs to recharge with some less burdening task.

My person work speaks to more universal ideas of life and its basic struggles of happiness, sadness, loses, loves and hate. Guernica was one artist reaction to a horrific event. That same artist spent on subjects of love and lust taking that break from the world. I tend to vary my subject matter and let the world work out its problems until there are pressing need to speak up.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
Currently, I am showing at the Collaborative IV – African Diaspora Show in West Palm Beach Opening 9/13/2018 – 9/24/2018. I am represented by XLM Gallery, Miami, Fl 404-354-2568.

I am available for commissions of all kinds; I can take you wildest Idea and develop it from conception to reality.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Art Photos : Robert McKnight

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