A note from curator Victoria Tierney:
George Robirts is a very concentrated-focus artist. His colored pencil work is some of the finest I have seen, particularly his owl drawing “WHO RULES” (“OREGON PRISON ART” show at the Coos Art Museum-2009) which is as finely wrought as you could imagine. Robirts said he began drawing as a child; there was never a time he was not drawing. Sometimes he got in trouble at school when he was drawing instead of doing something else. Since we first made contact in the early Spring of 2009, he has been moved twice, most recently from Klamath Falls to Madras, where he is at Deer Ridge C.I. It takes him a very long time to do his drawings, and his release date is coming up fairly soon. so he elected to price his works relatively dear. They did not sell during the TIME traveling show; I am sorry about that as they represent an extraordinary use of time, but maybe I should not be sorry at all, because they are still available to someone who can afford them. Being in prison, and serving TIME, one has the opportunity to consider time very carefully; how am I using this precious time which has come my way in this life on Earth?
When I first began these shows, I made a deliberate decision NOT to look up what these men had done, and although I did later look them up, I don’t remember what it was that landed Robirts in prison. But I know that when I first opened the packet that contained “WHO RULES?” and ‘BURIED & FORGOTTEN’, tears came to my eyes and I knew we were going to have the quality work I had dreamed of for the show at the CoosArt Museum.
I used “BURIED & FORGOTTEN” for posters and for the catalog cover for the show. Having a son in prison myself, I understood how these concentrated-focus artistic, almost autistic, sons feel when their oblivious-ness of everything but what they are paying attention to, cuts them off from normal social interaction and leads them to mistakes which land them behind bars. There, particularly if they cannot maintain close ties with those on the outside, who love them, they may well feel “BURIED & FORGOTTEN.” “