Robert J. Quackenbush, Jr.
When I was twenty-five, I knew that I was supposed to be a painter. Wherever I lived I found a place to go to art school. It started in Philadelphia at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Art and continues to this day. Whenever I had a place to use as a studio, I painted. When I didn’t have a space, I painted in my head. It took some time, but finally I was able to start painting on a full-time basis.
In 1997, I was accepted to participate in the Empire State College (SUNY) Studio Art Program and I worked there until mid-2002. They gave me a studio to work in and invited renowned artists, museum curators, art historians and critics to conduct group lectures as well as critique the work of each of the program’s participants.
From 1996 – 2005, I had the good fortune to spend almost every Monday afternoon working in the studio of Alexander Shundi in Amenia, New York. Alex is a great painter, has a deep knowledge of art history and is a teacher like no other. Alex taught me how to see; how not to be afraid of my imagination; and, most of all, how to create work that makes uncommon sense. I owe Alex a great debt of thanks.
During those years in the New York City area, I had some good fortune. I was included in a number of group shows and had five one-man shows in Connecticut and New York City. In 1997, I won an Award of Merit at Paperworks’97 (a national juried show).
In early 2005, I moved my studio from the South Bronx to my new location in Leawood, Kansas. Since coming to the Midwest, I have been included in a number of group shows and have been invited to mount fifteen one-man exhibitions, five of them in 2008.
I have enjoyed several other career milestones since moving to the Kansas City area. In 2006, I was invited to join the Hand Print Press, a group of printmakers working out of the University of Missouri at Kansas City. See our website: http://cas.umkc.edu/art/hpp/. In the fall of 2009, The Nerman Museum of Contemporary Art located on the campus of Johnson County Community College presented an exhibition of prints created by the members of the Hand Print Press. www.nermanmuseum.org. The February/March (2007) issue of SPACES Magazine, a Kansas City area publication, featured an artist’s profile article on the progress of my art career since arriving in the Kansas City area.
Every two years since 2008, I have been invited to present work at the H&R Block ARTSPACE Flatfile Exhibition for works on paper.
2009 started off well with one of my paintings (“The Guardian Balances the Scales of Justice”) being selected by United States Senator Claire McCaskill to hang in her office in Washington, D.C. for the entire year.
I have enjoyed several opportunities to be included in exhibitions at The Kansas City Jewish Museum of Contemporary Art and The American Jazz Museum.
In 2007, I opened a teaching practice in my studio to teach drawing and painting. Now, commonly known as StudioQ, our group has received a lot of popular notoriety and many if its participants have gone on to have successful exhibitions of their own work. In late 2016, StudioQ will move to its new location in the Beacon Hill neighborhood of Kansas City, MO.
In 2012, I developed a line of custom steel furniturecalled MODUS ABODE and received a Design Excellence Award for this new venture.
Since moving to Kansas City, my work has been added to many private collections, as well as to the corporate collections of SPRINT, American Century Investments, Emprise Bank, West Plaza Properties, the Truman Medical Center, St. Luke's Hospital and the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium.
For me, each day is full of new ideas and I am blessed with great facilities to explore these ideas.