LSU Glassell Gallery features Master Artist from The School of Just Being Myself. The LSU School of Art is pleased to announce our September 2009 exhibition schedule for the Glassell Gallery in the Shaw Center for the Arts. Join us for an exciting new exhibition. LSU School of Art presents: Robert Joy: Rare Vision. The exhibition will run from September 5th through October 4th, 2009 with an opening reception on Saturday, September 5 from 6-8pm. All events are free and open to the public.

The gallery space will be transformed into a visual wonderland featuring the colorful, complex and deeply honest drawings and paintings of artist Robert Joy. This art installation will celebrate the unique and rare vision of an artist committed to creating work that is direct, profound and unfettered. The vibrant color and obsessive detail is witty and compelling and also very inviting. Joy creates new work constantly and is extraordinarily prolific. As an exciting extra bonus, not only will Robert Joy be available for conversation at the opening reception on Saturday, September 5, from 6-8pm but the artist will be in the gallery September 8-9, drawing new works to add to the exhibition. Viewers are welcome and encouraged to join him: pick up a crayon or marker and draw your own masterpieces!

Artist’s Statement

Ordinary, Everyday Vision - On Just Being Myself
By Robert Joy

I was asked to write a Bio. I suppose it would suffice to give my dates, schools and my work. Okay... Here are some dates. I’m sixty-six years old so far this year. Next year, I’ll be sixty-seven and on and on. Now as for my schooling, I went to the Garden City High School, because I had to go. It was then, as it is now, the law. I wasn’t a very good student and no one on this earth was happier to graduate and leave, than myself.

What was it that actually influenced my artistic ability the most? Well, I guess it was a little fluke in my brain and something I was completely unaware of until very late in life. I had a learning disability, but I didn’t know it and maybe it was best that I didn’t. In the 1950’s and 60’s, I was diagnosed by my teachers and peers as stupid and lazy. All I had to do was apply myself and I’d be as productive as everyone else. Believe me, there would have been no greater joy in my life than to be like everyone else.

Art and speech class seemed to be the only places I could excel. I actually did better in the speech class, because it had the least pressure on me to conform. Art class in high school was really geared to conformity, but I could at least there fake conformity and thus I survived to graduate.

To make a long Bio short, I really sucked in art, but it was so easy for me to fake it. I even ended up with a Masters degree in art. (I should mention at this point, that I was eventually drafted.) I went to Vietnam, but I came home in one piece, got married, had kids, went to college on the GI Bill to get a teaching certificate and I got a job for USD 428 in Great Bend, KS as a junior high school art teacher. I served, nine years of that.

I hadn’t gone to college to hone my handwriting skills, but it was certainly my own style and I didn’t have to work at anything special to produce that style. I just moved my pen on a paper and there it was without the slightest effort. Why couldn’t I just do the same thing in drawing and painting as when I wrote?

So I just simply started drawing and all the magic began to happen. My wonderful screwed up brain, with all its crazy way of seeing things just locked on to that freedom and off I went. I suppose all those years of college had some effect, but no more than anything else.

One of my two wonderful, talented daughters, has since, diagnosed this old head as ADHD and maybe my own little diagnosis of some dyslexia has cleared up the mystery as to why I had such a horrible time in school. Still all that being said, being stupid and lazy on one side of my head, helped the other side to become more developed. My brain just waited until I decided to stop trying so hard to conform to be with all those other motivated folks. It just waited until I finally did what came natural.

I really consider my art a “Grass roots style,” but I was told by the powers-that-be, that I must conform to be something else. Sorry, Bob, but because you simply have too much education to be a grass roots artist, you can’t be one of us! So... I decided to start my own school and I’ve declared to be in “The school of just being myself.”

Robert Joy, Rare Vision

This art installation celebrates the unique and rare vision of an artist committed to creating work that is direct, profound and unfettered.
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