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CAM Great Rivers Biennial Artists

Robert Ketchens
Terminal 1, Near A Concourse Checkpoint, October 27, 2016- March 31, 2017

"Birth of Jazz"

Birth of Jazz is a visual investigation of the musical genre that is uniquely American. Images include painted and collaged images and symbols that represent the spirit of New Orleans, as well as pioneers of jazz. Musicians include Sidney Bechet, Louis Armstrong, Ferdinand LaMothe (aka ‘Jelly Roll Morton’), Buddy Bolden,Freddie Keppard, Sidney Bechet, King Oliver, and Louis Armstrong.






Raised in East St Louis, Miles Davis left home early in his life to become one of
America’s most innovative and influential jazz masters

About the Artist 

Ketchens began his artistic career with the United States Air Force. His military service as a medical illustrator in Biloxi, Mississippi and at the USAF Hospital in Wiesbaden, Germany laid the groundwork for his studies in fine art. Combining a longtime natural talent and a newly sparked fire to learn more, he found himself enrolling in the Atelier of Herr Herzfield, a local German artist, where he learned to master the practical aspects of easel painting, from canvas preparation to color mixing and glazing. 

Ketchens has completed several important commissions and has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally. He recently completed a large scale mural of the Olympian Jesse Owens, commissioned by Focus Films and located in the historic Old North area of St. Louis city. He has various works in progress, including a large scale mural project for the Missouri History Museum, and an exhibit at the newly opening National Blues Museum.

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