The Chesterton Art
Center will present an exhibit of the late Robert Hoffman's work titled,
“Captured Moods: A Robert Hoffman Retrospective” starting with an opening
reception on Sunday, August 2, from 2-4 p.m. Robert's wife, Wilma, and
daughter, Barb Knuckles, are curating the exhibit.
“The exhibit will
include examples of his work from various locations, weighted toward the
Indiana Dunes first and Brown County second, since those were the places he
painted most. We are picking the best examples that include some different
techniques - pastel, oil and a few acrylic,” a press release states.
Hoffman grew up in
Gary, Indiana, where he attended Tolleston High School and distinguished
himself with his drawings and cartoons. He married Wilma Hough in 1952 and
celebrated 65 years of marriage before he passed away. While working as a
brick layer at Inland Steel, supporting himself and his family, he took
classes at the Chicago Academy of Fine Art. He studied under Hal Rogoff, Kay
Pool, Frederick Rigley, Ken Gore, Franklin Jones, Jim Pollard and Don Stone.
In 1972, he started
teaching classes and outdoor workshops. His analytical teaching style helped
him break down his art knowledge and skills into sequential components. He
was a much beloved instructor in NW Indiana.
In 1981, Robert
jumped at the opportunity for an early retirement and became a full-time
artist. He worked mostly in oils and pastels, showing his work at local art
fairs and regional shows. He preferred to work "en plein air" (outdoors)
whenever possible and could be found toting his French easel and gear
outside in any season.
In his studio in
Merrillville, he painted still lifes, florals, and portraits, often working
from his extensive collection of slides. He enjoyed group painting
excursions to Monhegan Island, Maine; Sedona, Arizona; Taos, New Mexico, and
Cedar Key, Florida.
In his own words,
Robert says, "I believe that an artist, whatever his discipline, is a
communicator of ideas and emotions. My goal as an artist is to communicate
unity and beauty that I see in nature. I like to capture the feeling of
light and atmosphere just as the French Impressionists did, but I also like
to maintain the feeling of substance or three dimensional bulk as did the
American impressionist. As with impressionism, my work is designed to come
alive when viewed from a distance rather than close.”
In his long career,
he participated in 15 solo exhibits, and was included in multiple Hoosier
Salon annual exhibits where he received a Prize of Distinction and a Merit
Award. He was featured in multiple galleries including the Brown County Art
Guild Legacy Collection and the Chesterton Art Center. His work is found in
many public and private collections. And he has taught art classes all over
from dementia in the last decade of his life, making it challenging to
continue painting. He passed away in 2017, just a few weeks before his 87th
Moods: A Robert Hoffman Retrospective" will hang at the Chesterton Art
Center through Saturday, August 29. This is a free event, open to the
public. The CAC regular hours are weekdays 11 a.m.-4 p.m., and Saturdays 10
a.m.-2 p.m. To provide a safe environment for the community, all guests are
required to wear a mask and practice social distancing at the Art Center.
The Chesterton Art
Center is located at 115 S. 4th St., Chesterton. For more information about
this and other events, visit the website at