|Artist is paint off the old palette
2003 graduate excels in art world thanks to talent, family and Centre connections
RELEASED: May 13, 2004
DANVILLE, KYEmil Robinson is no stranger to art. He was all but born with a paintbrush in hand.
Robinson, who graduated from Centre last spring with an art degree, comes from a long line of artists. Both of his parents earned art degrees and his mother runs an art studio in Cincinnati. Robinson's grandfather raised a family of 11 as an artist.
"In my family it's a little unusual if you're not interested in art," Robinson says.
Robinson is well on his way to living up to the family legacy. His second solo exhibition is currently taking place at the Maritain Gallery in Loveland, Ohio. His paintings will be on display through June 26.
"It's very impressive for a student a year removed from graduation to already have a gallery exhibit," says Sheldon Tapley, Cantrell Professor of Art at Centre. Robinson thanks Centre for helping him hone his skills.
"Sheldon pushed me to take risks with my art," he says. "With his support I had the confidence to talk to the people I needed to [in order to have an exhibition]. Sheldon told me the best way to set up my portfolio."
Robinson transferred to Centre a couple of years ago because, he says, "I wanted to be an artist, but also receive an overall education. I wanted to learn about the world as well as about art." Robinson studied abroad in Merida, Mexico, while at Centre.
In the fall Robinson will pursue an M.F.A. in painting from the University of Cincinnati. He was the first choice from the M.F.A. program's pool of applicants and will receive a full scholarship and stipend.
"It's neat to know what you can do with a liberal arts education," he says. "[Receiving the scholarship] backed up the faith I already had in Centre."
Tapley is a big fan of Robinson's work. "He's a figurative painter," he says. "He prefers portraits and scenes that hint at a narrative. He's one of Centre's best art students in my 20 years of teaching. He has a remarkable creative drive and put in many hours in the studio, working to make sure his paintings and drawings were the best he could make."
Robinson enjoys painting portraits of people in rooms with an outdoor view. His paintings show the difference of the indoor and outdoor light. "It creates a nice color effect," he says.
Teaching is in Robinson's future plans. Tapley and Judith Jia, assistant professor of art at Centre, sparked his interest by having him work with younger Centre students when Robinson was a senior. Tapley noted that Robinson was adept at working with beginning artists.
Robinson teaches art to inner-city youth in Cincinnati on weekdays and works with adult artists on weekends.
"I have a real passion for teaching," Robinson says.
To learn more about Robinson's exhibit, visit http://188.8.131.52/ss.Exhibits/ss.ex.EmilRobinson04.html. For more on Centre's art program, go to http://www.centre.edu/web/academic/majors/art.html.
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