Our featured artist for October is Robert Lortscher, Master of Fine Arts and art educator who regularly uses small sketchbooks (as well as large murals) as a form of performance art.
Robert, who has lived in the area north of Gold Beach since 2000, developed his surrealistic illustrative style while doing lithography and printmaking at Fort Hays State University of Kansas. In those early years, he worked as both a gallery and printmaking assistant. He also was an assistant to sculptor Pete Felten while Felten was executing a limestone Capitol Statue Project for the Kansas State Rotunda.
With his MFA degree, Robert later launched into a 20-year teaching career, which earned him a number of awards. These include the President’s Award from the Dade County Art Education Association for his work with students of the Miami Dade School System, as well as an Art Recognition Award for summer programs teaching figure drawing at the New World School of Arts in Miami.
An essential part of Robert’s teaching strategy is the use of sketchbook journals as a tool for personal reflection and preparation for college entrance auditions. He also has used his program of sketchbook workshops with art teachers, giving them a whole new medium to both personally explore as well as teach.
According to Robert, “My goal is to share (with other artists) the many uses of sketchbooks in inspiring and perfecting their own art.”
Robert has earned recognition for his own art, too—from an early National permanent collection for his drawing Master’s Yellow Cat, to his mural exhibition paintings of famous artists that were displayed in the International Presidents Mall and the Miami City Ballet. And here, his entry in the 2016 Azalea Festival Art Show, The Still Life, won the Best of Class Award, Professional.