Stout professor presents the beauty of charcoal with simplicity

Sam Kilgard-

It’s easy to hold an audience’s attention with complexities, but it is truly an art when one can captivate an audience using the simplest of tools. Rob Price, a former University of Wisconsin-Stout professor of 30 years, is showing pieces of his current travels at the Barrel Room in Menomonie.

The pieces shown are presented in charcoal, and they depict images from across the country. “In my travels I stop whenever something catches my eye, whether it be a landscape or a beautiful arrangement of nature,” Price explains. “I always say, there is a drawing in everything, you just have to go find it.”

But what is Price’s passion behind his work? “You don’t know who you are until you know where you are. These drawings are my way of discovering where I am, which in turn helps me discover who I am,” Price adds. The drawings range from the shores of Lake Superior, to the plains of Kansas, to beautiful depictions of creeks and ponds from Dunn County.

Emertus, Rob Price and his work will be displayed for the duration of March.

Price’s process starts with the pictures he takes; he then creates his own drawings based off of the images he has taken. “Sometimes I draw exactly what I see in the picture and other times I put my own twist on the image. I always start with smudges of charcoal and go from there,” says Price.

The use of charcoal also adds another dimension to his process, as Price notes, “The absence of color makes it harder to create these pieces since all I have to work with is two colors—white and black—it makes the process that much more difficult.”

Mary Bygd, owner of the Barrel Room, says “Rob’s pieces are catching many customers’ eyes and have been receiving great compliments. We have a new showcase every month, and Rob’s last[s] the entire month of March.”