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Richard Rooker

In 1965 I graduated high school and was interested in art.  I enjoyed drawing and it was time to decide on my advanced education.  I had applied to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago but at the last minute, lacking the confidence that I had what it took (I had been accepted), I ended up in engineering and an art and architecture curriculum at the University of Illinois.  “You need to pursue a career at which you can earn a living Richard” I was encouraged.  I don’t regret the decision to heed that advice for it brought me a very exciting working career full of world-wide opportunities and experiences.  As part of my architectural education, I spent hours and hours at the Institute studying the art of incredible artists. I am still in love with Chicago and the Art Institute. 

The Art Institute, in the heart of downtown Chicago on the Miracle Mile of Michigan Avenue, was founded in 1879 and is one of the oldest and largest art museums in the United States.  Walking through its halls is literally awesome and inspiring to say the least.  Every time I visit, I continue to be amazed at the talent and skills of the artists represented in the Institute’s collections, which counts over 300,000 works!

The School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC) is a private university associated with the Institute.  It was founded in 1866 and accredited by the National Association of Schools of Art and Design since 1944 as a charter member and is recognized as the most influential art school in the United States.

 One of the fun things I like to do is introduce young (and old) art enthusiasts and students to the Art Institute.  An hour and a half train ride to downtown Chicago from Milwaukee’s Intermodal station and a 15 minute walk from Union Station to the Institute, I am your official escort on a day trip to experience the wonders of the Art Institute of Chicago, including such iconic works like Edward Hopper’s “Nighthawks”.  Give me a call or email if you have an interest!

Keep Making Art!

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