Visual Art

Gehrke’s Long Career the Subject of Library Exhibit

Tom Giffey |

When sculptor, painter, and woodworker Robert Gehrke died last year at age 68, the Chippewa Valley lost one of its longstanding artistic icons. Gehrke, an Eau Claire native, made his living as an artist, working in multiple mediums and operating a bronze casting foundry for 40 years.

His work could be found everywhere from New York galleries to college campuses (including the University of Montana, UW-Eau Claire, UW-Stout), and even the Minnesota State Academy for the Blind (for whom Gehrke created an interactive wall sculpture). Gehrke’s long, distinguished career is the subject of a new show, “Paintings + Sculpture: A Retrospective,” which will run through March 16 at the L.E. Phillips Memorial Public Library in downtown Eau Claire.

According to the library, “This exhibit is a survey of his work from the 1970s into 2019, encompassing drawings and prints, paintings, and sculpture in bronze, wood, and cast resin.” Make your way to the library’s second-floor gallery and enjoy the creative output of one of the godfather’s of the Valley’s artistic scene.