Robert McFate

Please enjoy my Hand Painted Reclamation of the System in the Cracks, Urban Fishing for Curb Fodder.

Go Home Get Small.

My Mother

LaVonne, my biggest influence. She worked part time as a cocktail waitress at The Red Rooster. Her paintings lined the walls and occasionally she would announce a sale.

One highlight was when actor Ernest Borgnine was in and had bought a painting

About Robert

Always felt I was born an artist, which being 1956 was perfectly timed for this young artist in America.

We lived on the eastside of Flint and I attended Homedale Elementary which was just a block and half walk. Kids walked back then. Art was taught by Mrs. Patton, she had a reputation for being strict , however for me I can only recall praise, encouragement and feeling joy in such a creative environment. I can recall her showing my art as an example to the class.

I often heard growing up that I possessed some gift. My mother I would answer, she paints in oils. Early on, art and the process of art was ever present. Painting in oils is something that takes days, weeks, or as it seems to a child, constant. Perhaps it was the rule of, “don’t touch” that fed my curiosity.

The youngest of four boys. Don and Tom were a bit older and Randy was two grades ahead in school. I walked the mile up Franklin Ave to Lowell Junior High where art was called Industrial Arts. I took wood shop, metal shop and drafting. This was a time when the cracks began and I began High School.

Walking to Central in the early 70’s .Was a dozen blocks each named after some state, cut through Kersley park and over the rail tracks, a busy road. Then along the C.S. Mott home arriving at Flint’s cultural center. I walked past the fountain, Planetarium, through the art museum , the Library and on to school. It was a beautiful campus and that's not even mentioning the College. Sophomore, Junior and Senior Class of 74. To mention waking in an artist bio might seem odd but the journey of this artist has been a bit of a hike. So let me walk you through it after I float through High School. High praise for the public education that was offered to me. Central had two excellent art instructors, Mr. Gleason and Mr. Nash both who greeted me with a, “oh, your Randy’s brother, you as good as him “ ? This was an important period for me and so much of it is rooted in art as a choice. Time passes and after work an artist doodles away time.

Then in 1980 brother Randy, Panama Fox taught me the basics of airbrushing. 1982 I began my first season airbrushing professionally at Spyglass beach shop on the, “if you are good like your brother” you got a job. Worked that summer then, New Orleans, back to P.C.B at T’s & Tops this time with Fox Tampa with Fox. Gatlinburg with wife Angie, Clearwater Beach, Springfield, Missouri five years Northtown Mall. Air Wear five years, owner and operator. Air Wear Studio is now a home based muralist. Over the next five years Bob will complete over a hundred mural projects all over the Springfield area.. The bulk of the work was for schools.

Looking for a new adventure and casting aside good business sense, we bought a little acre in a valley in Tennessee, next to a river, and across from an old mill. We began, Old Mill Mural, and while my workload was considerably less, the small community soon saw me as the local artist guy and over the next few years I was offered some very unusual and challenging commissions. This lighter workload gave me the time to volunteer art at the school, later getting paid for it .During this time more and more brush work came into each mural and while I first told someone, “I’m not really a sign painter”. The many signs I painted did improve my brush skills and made me a folk bonafede folk artist.

2011 We took charge of change and I made a public announcement in the Bledsoe Banner, I would no longer custom orders and would now focus on my own personal vision. I signaled this change by dropping the Old Mill Mural and embraced my given name Robert. I chose a simple all cap print and stacked first over last name and began my encore period of the art of Robert McFate Studio. Had my first art show and not long after I would discover something right up the road. Cincinnati, people ask me what brought you to Cincinnati and I say, Hwy 127. On that same road a gallery Thunder-Sky Inc.. had invited me to co-head a show related to William Blake. The timing coincided with our arrival and over the next few years I would be a regular contributor at the gallery. Leased a space at Essex Studios during that time as well. It’s also been wonderful to be a regular collaborator at Visionaries and Voices event Double Vision. The streets in the city found metal as a natural bi-product of city life. Curb fodder is a marginalized material and I am drawn to look at it closer and find some new life. Fall of 2018 I proposed a show to Thunder-Sky and it was scheduled for June to July 3rd 2020. We left Essex and I spent 2019 working on,,” Sign/Symbol, looking at the World via HWY 127”. With the pandemic and events during those days it was, thanks to many local creatives and patrons we were able to offer the show in private showings and video presentations. {.See the whole story,@ Robert McFate YouTube channel.} Each guest that attended was given a free gift found in the bathroom cabinet. This was the start of Small Batch Art Magnets.

After July and the show I flipped the saying, “go big or go home” to stay home and go small. I began producing from the smallest bits of found metal . assemblage and attaching a magnet to the back. It made sense in the new abnormal days that followed. Three years out it still makes sense. So for now and for the days ahead it’s my art at its most accessible and affordable form ever.

2021 addition of Fodder-bot.

Angie and I are content being a small home based artist and appearing at various events which is by far the best way to acquire art. But also happy to now have our complete catalog of my work over this past decade on this web page.

.Thanks to Angie for all the hard work making the web site user friendly and showcasing the art in its best light, along with our media production and promotion.

To sum up my art experience my oldest brother Don was overwhelmed by a factory job along with custom art orders. Got divorced and lived the artist beachcomber life, from Jacksonville to Key West his art sustained his needs till the end.

Tom worked at A.C. and got out near the end. He never lost his creativity and was always finding some new method or craft. Near his life's end he was crafting custom walking sticks.

Father's art was wood craftsmanship, and LaVonne, my biggest influence. She worked part time as a cocktail waitress at The Red Rooster. Her paintings lined the walls and occasionally she would announce a sale. One highlight was when actor Ernest Borgnine was in and had bought a painting . Finally my only living brother Randy still at this time owns and operates Panama Fox Tattoo.

We welcome your interest, and or support for both my art and little activism. I hope I can keep walking and find materials for new imaginations.

Robert McFate 2023


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