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The 50 lb. Box of Art
Shafer Gallery to host Robert Joy exhibit
Joy - Sharmaker
Starmaker by Robert Joy

Local art legend Robert Joy of Ellinwood is returning to the Shafer Gallery to showcase his eccentric collection of drawings with his exhibit “The 50 lb. Box of Art and Other Tales of Obsession: A Robert Joy Disrespective.” There will be a virtual reception at 6:30 p.m. on Sept. 11 at The exhibit will run through Oct. 16. Guests are invited to see the exhibit in person but will be asked to wear masks inside the gallery. 

Robert Joy
Robert Joy

Gallery Director Dave Barnes said Joy frequently visits the gallery to work on his drawings due to the serene setting the gallery provides. Like the art that lines its walls, he is a somewhat permanent fixture in the gallery.  

“The art world is filled with creative people, some stolid and business-like, others flamboyant and colorful,” Barnes said. “The Shafer Gallery has been privileged to work for almost 10 years with an artist who is focused and business-like in the obsessive production of his unique and colorfully eccentric art.”

Joy has been drawing for decades and it is truly something that consumes him. 

“For me, creating is really just a matter of lines — and it’s kind of a meditative state I get into,” he said. “It’s like an addiction. I’ve got to have it. I wake up in the morning, and all I want to do is draw.”

Joy - Armistance
Armistance by Robert Joy

Barnes has witnessed the obsession of Joy’s work, his daily discipline has the ability to transport his viewers to many different worlds and headspaces using arabesque lines and sometimes vibrant color. 

“Robert Joy is a completely genuine and humane being,” he said. “He simply is what he is. His work comes straight from the wellspring of his heart. He responds to the emotional flow of the world around him. Although his art is sometimes commentary, and often very probing and astute, it is mostly an expression of emotions that sometimes grab him by the throat. That is to say; he draws out the feelings he cannot express with words. This connection between thought, feelings and spontaneous form is enhanced by his almost trance-like mark and pattern making. Out of the special spaces his doodling creates, images emerge, always unique to Robert and whimsical, in a never-ending multiplicity of themes. He is like an undammed river meandering where his inner world demands. It is our privilege to highlight his recent work. This “disrepective” intends no disrespect but exhibits Robert’s wry sense of humor, his good nature and consummate sense of the absurd.”

For more information, contact Shafer Gallery Director Dave Barnes at 620-792-9342 or The Gallery is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday and admission is free.