Artist Spotlight: Robert Sako
I have been an artist and art instructor for most of my adult life. I taught Kindergarten through Middle School Art in Martins Ferry Ohio from 1980 through 2010. I was also an adjunct instructor at West Virginia Northern Community College from 2001 until December of 2011, having taught photography, drawing, design and creative expression. I have had both one person shows and participated in group exhibitions at Ohio University Eastern, The Grave Creek Mound State Park in Moundsville, West Virginia, and in Wheeling West Virginia at The Wheeling Artisan Center, West Virginia Northern Community College, Oglebay Institute’s Stifel Fine Arts Center and Artworks Around Town Gallery and Arts center.
I am a graduate of West Liberty State College with a Bachelor’s Degree in Art and Art education. I also have a Master’s Degree from Muskingum College in Education with an Art specialization. I have won awards for my work in drawing, painting, photography, and digital imagery. I have also been awarded the Ohio Art Education Association Outstanding Art Teacher Award for 2009 for the East Region in the State of Ohio.
I grew up in Rayland Ohio, a small town on the Ohio River that is just west and north of Wheeling, West Virginia. I have lived in the Upper Ohio Valley All of my life. The landscape and the people of this area have greatly influenced my work.
In my work, I have attempted to create a poetic relationship between object and audience using basic visual elements such as textures, patterns, lines, or colors. In some pictures, I try to eliminate, or at least minimize the “fact” of objects. In others, the objects are more important because they have their own stories. In any case, my goal is to make art that will allow the audience an opportunity for exploration through a personal interaction between the viewer and the piece. I do not want to give everything away at a glance. That would make things too easy, and therefore, uninteresting. I believe art should be read, like a poem, and its audience should find new meanings or emotions with each reading. While this kind of interaction may (and should) require some effort on the part of the viewer, it is my responsibility as the artist to break the ice, to get things started, and to create a first glance impact. Then, hopefully, the dialogue between the art and its audience can begin.