|Bob Spirko |
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Robert J.Spirko was born in Youngstown and grew up in Warren, Ohio and enjoyed making art from an early age. With a degree in Fine Art from East Tennessee State University in 1968 he continued to develop his artistic skills throughout his adult life. The first part of which was spent in the military and business world where he not only developed artistically but also acquired excellent managerial skills. From the mid 1970’s to 2014 he owned and operated a professional art studio and a commercial art and antique gallery. He now works out of his art studio in his home. He has shared his enthusiasm for art with his 3 children who in their adult lives have each gone on to pursue careers in the arts. For 20 years he taught art classes in the 4th and 5th grades in the Hamblen County Tennessee schools. Over the same time frame he has taught adult and children’s art classes at Rose Center and Council for the Arts, Walters State Community College and Tusculum College. He continues to teach periodically at Rose Center. In 1976 Spirko held his first public showing of art along with fellow artist and friend Ed Schnitman at the Morristown-Hamblen Library in Morristown, TN. Since that first showing he has participated in one-man, two-man and group shows in the East Tennessee and Western North Carolina area which has brought him 24 ribbons and cash awards including a Best of Show, 1st Place in Painting, various 2ndand 3rd Places, Merit and Purchase awards. He has worked as a curator to develop many local and area exhibits and served as a judge for local and area art shows. Spirko’s dedication to the arts is expressed through his continuous membership in the Morristown Art Association since 1976 (serving as president and vice president on several occasions). He is a member of Rose Center Council for the Arts (serving on the board 3 times), Rose Service Guild and the Knoxville Museum of Art (Serving on the Regional Advisory Board for 4 years the last year as Chairman). He has also served 6 years on the Board of Directors of the Tennessee Committee of the National Museum Of Women In The Arts and 5 times on the Art Builds Communities Grant Panel of the Tennessee Arts Commission. He is a true advocate for the Arts.