By Terry Rogers
The Angelucci Fine Woodworking and Stained Glass Studio & Artist Gallery opened the “Rust Never Sleeps” exhibit on Friday, September 6 in the studio located on the Riverwalk at 4 Park Avenue in Milford. The exhibit is a fundraiser for Rob Hare, a local artist stricken with Parkinson’s Disease, and is the first showing of sculptures created by another local artist, Travis Carter. The show runs until September 28, and all proceeds from sales of Mr. Hare’s paintings go directly to the artist, with no commission paid to the gallery.
“Rust Never Sleeps is my tribute to Neil Young, and it is based on the human condition that as soon as we are born, we begin to break down,” Scott Angelucci, owner of the gallery, explained. “Rob is an example of that human condition, as even with his illness progressing, he is still painting. His work is just taking on new characteristics.”
Rob Hare began painting at the age of 12, learning oil painting from his mother, who was also a painter. His mother encouraged his artwork, sending him to as many art classes as possible at the Delaware Art Museum in Wilmington, where he grew up. He acknowledges that watching Bob Ross painting trees and landscapes on Saturday mornings influenced his style as he grew up.
In 2003, Hare was diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. He worked as a research scientist with Dentsply Caulk for thirty years before his doctors, in 2007, told him he could no longer work due to his illness. Mr. Hare explained that he still holds patents in his name for some of the formulas he created. According to Hare, last year the company cut his benefits, and he says he has struggled somewhat financially since that time, as his disability cut his income by two-thirds.
Mr. Hare says the turning point in his art came when he had a showing at St. Peter’s Church in Lewes. A woman at the show told him his work was “good but lacking” and he later learned that she was one of the judges. He decided to visit Abraxas, a local painter from Milton whose work he admired. Abraxas told him that he needed to take a course offered by Libby Berry in Whidbee Island, located in the state of Washington. He later learned that Ms. Berry only accepts four students in each workshop, and due to the recommendation from Abraxas, he was able to attend the six-week course. Hare says the course changed his painting as Ms. Berry taught him in the style of Leonardo da Vinci and other Renaissance painters.
Due to his illness, Hare says he has begun to do more digital artwork. A digital piece hangs in the gallery and can easily be mistaken for an oil painting. If an admirer looks closely, they can see small writing in the center of the painting.
“It is a formula,” he explained, smiling. “I wanted some proof that this was not a painting but digital so the scientist came out in me and I added a formula just for fun.”
Travis Carter, the second artist featured in the Rust Never Sleeps exhibit, creates sculptures from metal objects that he either finds, rescues from salvage yards or is given to him by friends. Each piece is abstract in nature and most of the pieces are named with what Mr. Carter describes as his “sarcastic nature.”
“I started doing this because I hate buying new things,” Mr. Carter explained. “I am into pure salvage, trying not to use anymore newly created things as possible. I started doing this by salvaging items and creating my own tables and things. Friends loved what I was doing, so I kept doing it until I had a house full of sculpture, but no pictures on the wall. That’s when I began creating wall pieces.” Mr. Travis’ sense of humor is evident even in the name of his company, Atomic Arcwork.
“I like studying the atomic age, that was a pretty interesting period in our history,” Mr. Carter said. “I spent a year in the Himalayas, hiking and getting in touch with myself. I love mountains and cold weather, so it was a great experience for me.” Mr. Carter was born in Milford, living near Williamsville his entire life, other than the year he spent abroad. He is a welder and machinist by trade, creating the art pieces on the side, although he says he prefers sculpture as it is “more fun.”
“This is my first gallery showing,” Mr. Carter explained. “I decided I’d rather start out close to home, and this seemed the perfect time and place.” The Angelucci Galleries are open Wednesday through Friday from 11 am until 6 pm and Saturday from 10 am until 4 pm. The Rust Never Sleeps exhibit will run through Saturday, September 28.