“Mr. Roark, a native of Mississippi, received his formal training at the Art Students League of New York, the National Academy of Design, and the Cape Cod School of Art under such noted artists as William Draper, Daniel Greene, and Henry Hensche. He has been the recipient of a Ford Foundation Scholarship and the Kunyoshi Memorial Scholarship. He has won numerous awards with pastels at such recognized shows as the National Pastel Show, including Best of Show, First Place (twice), and the Bee Paper Award. His miniature oil paintings, 5″ x 7” and smaller, have won Mr. Roark as many as five national awards in a year, including First Place and Best of Show in the Montana Miniature Society Show. His larger oils have also won numerous awards, including the Best in Show Award in the Leo Diehl Exhibition.
“His nudes and portraits have received wide national and international recognition and have won many awards. Both the National Arts Club and Salmagundi Club have recognized his work with first place awards. Mr. Roark has also shown in the “Wet Art” and “Silent Art” exhibition at the Cape Museum of Fine Arts for several years. In 1996 he was asked to jury the Copley Society’s annual Group Show and in 1998 was invited to participate in a major event to raise funds for Boston’s Battered Women Clinic held at the Copley Society.
“Mr. Roark has exhibited in New York City at the National Arts Club, the Wickersham Gallery, the Fox Gallery, the Flynn Gallery and the Salmagundi Club. He has also been shown in Taos, New Mexico; Columbus, Ohio; Vero Beach and Sarasota, Florida; and in Washington D.C. at the Smithsonian, in Naples, Florida at the Naples Museum of Art. His work can also be found in Hirschhorn’s permanent private collection, the Cape Museum of Fine Arts, Dennis, MA and in 2009 his work will also be included in the permanent collection of the Cahoon Museum of American Art, Cotuit, MA. Mr. Roark’s art work can also be found in many private and corporate collections worldwide.
“In 2001, Mr. Roark was the featured artist for the celebrated “Pops by the Sea” event held each year in Hyannis with the renowned Boston Pops orchestra to raise funds for the Cape Cod Arts Foundation. From November, 2001, to February, 2002, the Cape Cod Museum of Art held a retrospective exhibition of Mr. Roark’s work highlighting his artistic mastery. Mr. Roark has also been invited to take part in several exhibitions at The Cahoon Museum over the past several years. In 2006 Mr. Roark was accepted as a member of the prestigious International Guild of Realism and his work has been part of the both their 2006 and 2007 juried exhibitions.
“While in New York, Mr. Roark worked as a portrait painter and an illustrator for such periodicals as the “New York Times”. He has also done mural work for the Hotel Pierre and for the Pierre Cardin Resorts in Palm Springs, CA. Mr. Roark was the subject of recent articles in “Cape Cod Life” magazine and has been the featured artist for the “Cape Cod Times”, “Cape Cod Antiques and Arts Magazine”, “Cape Art Review” and “American Art Collector”.
“In 1987 Mr. Roark had his first one-man show at Tree’s Place, Orleans, MA and continued to hold one-man shows there until he and his wife Anita Winstanley-Roark, a photographer and art historian, open their own gallery, The Studio Gallery Robert K. Roark, Dennis, MA, in 1995.
“Mr. Roark’s paintings have been described as “a mastery of reflected light.” His landscapes and still lifes “invite tactile exploration” and his interior scenes have elicited references to Vermeer, “while still modern and completely Mr. Roark’s own, in style and subject.” Describing his work, Mr. Roark has said that he paints in “a simple and straightforward manner, choosing to define the landscape and other subjects in terms of light as opposed to color.” His approach transports the viewer into a beautiful world of varied subjects and entices one to linger and explore radiant textures and evocative light. Through his numerous subjects Mr. Roark has laid claim to an exquisite corner of the present Age of Enlightenment by creating mirror images of the passion which resides within him. Mr. Roark has recently reproduced several of these beautiful images in a limited edition format, capturing the essence of his original paintings and of timeless Cape Cod.”
Editor’s Note: Robert K. Roark is one of the featured artists in the National Marine Life Center’s upcoming Art for the Seas event. The following biography is from his website, www.masterfulart.com. ~kaz