Rob Shorter Unveiled!

Rob Shorter with Libbey schoolmates Willie Loper, Jim Shorter, Bill Haynes and Tony Smart

By Dawn Scotland
The Truth Reporter

The Truth Art Gallery held its opening reception for “The Richness of Pencils,” a solo exhibit featuring new and ageless drawings by artist extraordinaire Robert Shorter. The exhibit features 16 vivid pieces that will be shown at the gallery at 1811 Adams St. from October 6– November 30.

Robert E. Shorter was born June 25, 1949 in Prospect, Tennessee. A longtime Toledoan, his family moved to Toledo, Ohio approximately 1958. Artist and illustrator, Robert E. Shorter started to show his gift of talent for drawing at an early age and began his formal art studies at The Toledo Museum of Art. He graduated from Toledo’s Edward Drummond Libbey High School winning numerous state scholastic art awards and then later continued his studies at Bowling Green State University.

The artist stated that “I’ve always loved to draw and in the beginning I did quite a bit of oil paintings on canvas, but clean up and space were always an issue. I found over time that I was able to draw and achieve the results I wanted without the clean-up problems using color pencils.”

He now “paints” with pencils. The precision of his craftsmanship matches the effects of paintings or photographs.

“I used to love painting but pencils just won me over…and I’m not disappointed.,” he stated. “I’ll leave the painting to the painters…I’m a drawer.”

Jim (brother) and Rob Shorter

Shorter’s current preferred medium for his work is Prismacolor pencils using Strathmore premium drawing paper or illustration board. “The goal was to make everything look rich -which it does… I didn’t lose any of the color from switching from painting to drawing. I can do anything I could do with painting,” he expressed.

Over the years, Shorter has painted and drawn portraits for professional football players, created numerous sports drawings of other various professional athletes and of local high school and college athletes. He is very particular about his craftsmanship.

“I’ll never sell anything I don’t like…. If I don’t like it, you’ll never see it.”

“It’s my passion”, stated Shorter, “I love drawing… It’s who I am. I would do this whether anyone saw it or not. I would be happy…” he said of the excitement of seeing his drawings. “They make me happy.”

Shorter has been absent from the typical art scene such as art clubs and art shows, but has consistently created numerous drawings over the years through commissioned work. He said that he enjoys working out of a small studio in his home and has never given up his passion for or stopped drawing. Most recently, in 2016, Robert was licensed by The Ohio State University to sell his artwork in retail stores.

His work has been featured in 20 North Gallery American Gallery, Truth Gallery, Collingwood Arts Center, Paul Sullivan Architects (Art Walk), 2015 Roots of Diversity Art Exhibit, Kent Branch Toledo Public Library – Black History Month Feb 2017, American Frame and Sanger Branch Toledo Public Library.

The artist’s works will be featured now until Nov 30 at the Truth Art Gallery (1811 Adams St.). The gallery is open 11-6 Wednesday – Saturday. Monday and Tuesday by appointment and admission is free.