Hollister, Missouri—Make plans to stop by for artist and retired educator Robert Langford with his solo exhibit Weather, Texture and the Process of Time during opening reception 6-9 p.m. Friday, February 4 in the Southern Missouri Arts Connection (SMAC) gallery on 7 Downing Street. As Langford describes, one will find a “Blend of the past with the present.” The exhibit will be on display February 4-26 on historic downtown Hollister, which includes locally owned restaurants and shops.
A variety of elements find their home in Langford’s art. One item in the exhibit will be the sculpture “Preening Crow” created from sheet metal, wire, and wood. Another to view is the portrait on newsprint “Larry” from The Three Stooges. “I’m drawn to things that are fading out,” says Langford as he uses resources that “have outlived their usefulness.” Each art piece encourages viewer participants to reflect and experience each piece of art, such as his work created about an orchard that has been surrounded by development in Northwest Arkansas. When examining the sawed off branches, the overgrown field, and transposed items, Langford encourages each person to “find meaning that is only your own.” As Langford reflects, “Searching for the meaning (in art) is like looking at the clouds.”
Other work of Langford’s includes the mural wall at Fritz’s Adventure on Highway 76 that is 124 feet of space painted like old pipes named “Pipe Wall” to capture the industrial design of the building. The Springfield Art Museum includes one of Langford’s works in their permanent collection, and his work has been included in other exhibits, including in St. Louis and Tennessee. While he has received many accolades from Watercolor USA and others, Langford’s demeanor is more about the experience and meaning in art.
Langford earned his B.A. in Art in 1981 and his K-12 Art Education Certification in 1982 from the University of Arkansas. His public school teaching of art spanned from 1983-2018, including 11 years near Ft. Smith, Arkansas, followed by 24 years for Branson High School here in the Ozarks. No doubt the art of teaching influenced Langford’s work as a professional artist. From years of teaching the fundamentals and art history, he studied a broader base of art.
After retirement from teaching art education, Robert Langford has become a full-time artist, taking commissions for murals, portraits, artistic dining tables, and other projects. His work includes a variety of mediums: oil paint, watercolor, film photography, ink, hardwood, and other elements. He appreciates the art of Franz Kline, Van Gogh, Andrew Wyeth, Wayne Thiebaud, 19th Century American artists, and a collection of artists he follows on Instagram. Langford’s artistic style is mirrored in his personal recognition of the qualities in everyday moments: rich dark roast coffee, home and family, good humor, contact sports, and anything rustic. His work that mingles the past with the present can be found @artlangford on Instagram.
The Southern Missouri Arts Connection is a nonprofit organization dedicated to connecting the arts and the community for the enrichment of all. To subscribe to the SMAC newsletter, email firstname.lastname@example.org. As SMAC’s 2022 community partner, Vintage Paris will be hosting SMAC’s 2022 gallery events with the spotlight on the House of Hope Warming Center during the winter months.