Current Exhibit: Skip Rohde, Asheville painter and Best in Show winner of the 2017 Grace Juried Art Exhibition. Please join us for a reception between the services on April 29.
Narrative paintings have held a power over me since I was small. As a little boy, I would gaze at Norman Rockwell’s pictures on the cover of the Saturday Evening Post magazine, soaking up how every aspect contributed to a tale that was more than just a picture of a person or place. Later, I studied the works of Thomas Hart Benton, Edward Hopper, Jerome Witkin, and others. Like them, I wanted to make paintings that had multiple layers of meaning, with narratives to tie them together.
My artworks are generally related within a series that revolves around a central theme. One series, “Old Times”, examined the joys and trials of growing older. Another, “Meditation on War”, studies the aftermath of armed conflict: not only the destruction, but also the hope to be found in rebuilding. A new series looks at my impressions of the personalities and characters of specific people. These artworks all show aspects of our world that I found to be worthy of study. I hope you do, too.
After serving as an officer in the U.S. Navy for over 22 years, Skip Rohde returned to school and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with a concentration in painting, from the University of North Carolina at Asheville. After graduation, he opened a studio in Asheville’s River Arts District. His work quickly began winning recognition in solo, juried, and curated exhibitions across the eastern half of the country.
Skip’s “Meditation on War” series of paintings, about the lasting effects of conflict, led in a roundabout way to a deployment in 2008 as a civilian program and project manager with the State Department and Army Corps of Engineers in Baghdad, Iraq, for 18 months. In 2011, Skip deployed again, this time for a year as a civilian governance advisor with the State Department in Kandahar Province. Skip regularly attended meetings with government officials, district elders, international aide organizations, and local villagers, and would often sketch the participants. Approximately 80 of these drawings are now in the Smithsonian Museum of American History in Washington, DC.
Currently, Skip has a studio in Asheville. In addition to producing and exhibiting his own artworks, he is the courtroom artist for WLOS-TV and teaches workshops in his studio.