Artist, writer Porter to be speaker
NORTHVILLE — The Sacandaga Valley Arts Network will be featuring artist and writer Robert Porter, who will talk about his work, at the SVAN Gallery Gift Shop at 303 S. Main St. from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. today.
The gallery, showcases and sells artwork of members of the Sacandaga Valley Arts Network and is open on Fridays 3 to 7 p.m., Saturdays 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Sundays 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The gallery may also be found open at various other times based on availability of volunteer staffing or for special events.
Porter is a former resident of Gloversville, a graduate of the Gloversville High School class of 1967, and he frequently visits the area to see family and friends. Recently, Porter became a member of the SVAN and has been submitting his artwork for exhibit and sale at the gallery, along with his book, “Across the Fields of Yesterday,” the autobiography about Gloversville coach Jack Kobuskie, as told to him by Kobuskie.
Porter, who has lived in Delaware for most of his adult life, has been painting since the mid-80s and has become known for his collection of colored, pencil sketches of Victorian Santas as well as character sketches. Porter is self-taught and sketches and paints in pencil, charcoals and watercolors on a regular basis.
He has also written “Stump City Chronicles-Memoir of a Blue Collar Kid,” which is a story about growing up in a blue collar, working-class family in small town America.
About his journey in the arts, Porter says, “I would love to say that I found my art, but it really found me in my mid-thirties. I had always been involved in big muscle sports, but found at that age, big muscles were beginning to hurt.
“I saw one of those ads that ask if I could replicate a picture. I did. I never signed up for the course, but I kept grabbing photos and drawing them. Thus, the addiction began. My thing is faces for the most part. They intrigue me….especially older ones with their histories written all over them.
“I try to catch what the face is saying to me, its humor, and its soul. All faces tell a story, and I try to figure out what that is. At about the same time I discovered art, I discovered writing and singing. Despite 42 years in a career that needed my left brain, I found that my right brain would not remain silent.”
Porter attended the State University at Oneonta from 1967 to1969 and La Salle University in Philadelphia from1969 to 1971 for business administration. He also served in the Army from 1971 to1973 in the 197th Military Police Detachment as a corrections and training specialist.
For 42 years, Porter worked as a registered representative in the financial planning Industry and was a 20-year board member of National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisers and was its president from 2010 to 2011. He was awarded the Charles B. Palmer Award in 2013 recognizing ethics and leadership.
Porter has been a cantor at Christ Our King Roman Catholic Church in Wilmington, Del., for the past 30 years and he has been a volunteer for Guiding Eyes for the Blind as a puppy raiser, trainer and area coordinator for 22 years.
Porter is married to Susan J. Parone. They have a son, Benjamin; a daughter, Megan Porter-Keeth; and two granddaughters, Sophia Keeth and Emma.