For the month of December, we are delighted to host a special session of the Western Colorado Book Club with guest speaker Gary Miller, son of the late Western artist Jack Roberts. Born in Oklahoma, Jack attended the American Academy of Art in Chicago and went on to study in New York under the tutelage of renowned artist and teacher Harvey Dunn. Following Dunn’s advice to seek “the essential spirit” of painting, Jack moved to Colorado in 1947 to find inspiration for his work. In Western Colorado, his jobs as a railroad bridge gang worker and ranch ditch rider influenced his early paintings.
In 1969, as his reputation grew and his artistic style evolved, Jack built his cabin/studio south of Redstone. While there for thirty years, he created an average of forty paintings a year. They were exuberant, colorful portrayals ranging from cowboys and native Americans to newspaper editors and historical expeditions. While capturing the “spirit” of his characters, he also approached each subject with an attention to detail and historical accuracy. He was both an artist and a historian.
During this special book club session, Gary Miller will relate his memories of his father and of his father’s paintings, including the “Last Great Train Robbery” paintings. These three paintings, which depict the 1904 train robbery west of Battlement Mesa and Parachute, are now on display in Parachute Town Hall. For this special session, please come prepared to discuss the December book selection, Colorado Artist Jack Roberts by F. Darrell Munsell. Copies of this book may be obtained from the Garfield County Libraries. We will discuss the book, hear from Gary MIller, and take a short field trip to Parachute Town Hall to view Jack Roberts’ “Last Great Train Robbery” paintings.
The Western Colorado Book Club is free and open to all adults. Light refreshments will be served. The Western Colorado Book Club meets every month at the Parachute Branch Library with the mission to discuss local authors and books of local historical significance. This club is offered through a partnership between Garfield County Public Libraries and the Grand Valley Historical Society.