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'I paint happy' says Bob Hart

Former faculty member Bob Hart (A.B.J. '70, Ed.S. '90, M.Ed. '79) always had a love of art. But it wasn't until he retired that he could embrace a more personal appreciation.

Hart, former information technology director, and his wife, Nancy, have downsized since his retirement. Now, when they are not traveling to far-flung corners of the world, they are surrounded by art. The walls of their Athens home are covered in a curated collection that represents decades of collecting. Most are by artists the Harts have befriended over the years, and walking through the house is like walking through the galleries of a friendly, approachable, folk art museum—paintings are quirky, colorful, and fun.

Within the collection are pieces painted on wood with simple figures and bold colors. One was even reproduced billboard-size near downtown Athens. These are Hart's originals.

"I paint happy," he says. "A lot of artists have angst. I'm a happy person. I'm a positive person. If I felt (negative), I wouldn't paint."

Hart paints in a covered outdoor studio overlooking his backyard. He's self-taught and has developed his own style over the years, but has also drawn a following, including a few galleries.

He also dabbles in sculpture, takes photographs, and has created a public memorial garden called the 9/11 Memorial Trail, located on Athens' east side.

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