Noted collector June Spiezer, whose collection is housed in the Rockford Museum of Art, refers to him as "The next Ed Paschke" and "Chicago's reigning genius of the gicleé, who handles the new media with the finesse and skill of an old master."

The main room of the Spiezer collection photo
The main room of the Spiezer collection, featuring Robert Kameczura's work (over sofa)

Though Robert Kameczura is considered one of Chicago's finest artists by those who know his work, it is only recently that he has started to receive the attention of a wider public, with several recent showings in museums in the United States and Japan. His work is often on an epic and monumental scale, with a panoramic, almost Shakespearean approach to breadth of characterizations. He is an artist of enormous range and versatility, adept in many media: acrylic, watercolor, drawing, silkscreen, black and white photography, gicleé work and calligraphy. He has a long history as a designer for several notable modern dance companies, including the Chicago Repertory Dance Ensemble and The National Ballet of Ireland. In addition Kameczura is a noted scholar, arts writer and critic as well as published poet. Many people are familiar with a portion of his graphic work through his cover artwork for the late WNIB Program Guide. Indeed, it is not a surprise that he has been called "one of Chicago's Renaissance men" for his numerous activities in so many fields.

Pluto and Persephone in the Underworld by Robert Kameczura
Pluto and Persephone in the Underworld by Robert Kameczura

He has exhibited widely and internationally, in Japan, Poland, Ireland and Canada as well as across the U.S. His work frequently has a highly romantic quality. His panoramic paintings have many characters and are attempts to create worlds of depth and breadth. They feature imagined societies that blend elements of reality and fantasy. His gicleé work, which mixes painting, drawing and photography often has a symbolist cast with a highly thoughtful approach to content. He has been much praised for his technical skill as a draftsman, as a brilliant colorist and noted for his refined, almost oriental handling of the brush despite the fact that he is completely self taught as an artist. Perhaps because of this, his work carries an unusual originality of vision and is rooted in a literate, compassionate humanism. The philanthropist, artist and head of Chicago's Public Schools Arts Programs for many years, Louise Dunne Yochum, has written of Kameczura describing "...his innate cultivated intellectual resources as well as his technical skill...his store of literacy and allegorical knowledge...his uninhibited imagination... reverence for the poetic and sublime and the spiritual element in the arts."

Robert has a long resume as an artist, with over a dozen one man shows devoted to his paintings and prints, another dozen one man shows entirely as a black and white photographer, and many recent exhibits devoted to his gicleé work. Some of these prints are art based, done after his drawings in the manner of traditional prints, but a great many are based on his photographs. These are altered, hand retouched, colored, reworked extensively on the computer, then printed with archival inks on fine paper in limited editions, often in very large scale.

With a degree in literature and poetry, Robert is a published poet and author, whose work includes several short poetic tales for children. Several of his poems have been set to music by noted classical composers, most notably Dan Tucker and Claudia Howard Queen. Kameczura is the founder of the Mythopian Artists' Group (www.artmyth.org), a group of seven highly respected Midwestern artists with an interest in narrative painting in a contemporary context.

Robert has been highly active in the field of artist's rights, as an arts organizer and promoter of legislation supporting the arts. He led the campaign to create Chicago's Public Art Program which purchases art to be placed in new public buildings and parks. He is one of the founders of The Chicago Artists Coalition and one of the principal creators, founders and co-directors (for the first two years) of Chicago Artists Month.

Always oriented towards the union of scholarship and the arts, Kameczura is art and classical music critic for The Site of Big Shoulders (sobs.org) and is known for his thoughtful lectures on art history. He most recently lectured on the history of Chicago Art at the Rockford Museum of Art.

It is small wonder that Robert Kameczura is known as a "Contemporary Old Master."

Spectators by Robert KameczuraSpectators by Robert Kameczura