About the Artist: Skip Rohde
I was an officer in the U.S. Navy for 22 years. After I retired, my wife and I came to the mountains near Asheville, North Carolina. I went back to school and earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with a concentration in painting, from the fantastic program at the University of North Carolina at Asheville. Following graduation in 2003, I became a full-time artist with a studio in the River Arts District.
Five years later, I answered a call and went to Iraq for 18 months with the State Department to manage reconstruction programs around the country. That was followed by a year in Afghanistan, helping local officials, businessmen, and others to better manage their government and economy. I returned home in 2012 and my wife won't let me go to war zones anymore.
Now my studio is in a former textile mill next to the historic French Broad River just north of Asheville. I'm always working on something new - currently a series of figures in charcoal and pastels, but also with new techniques in oils. My paintings have won recognition and awards in national and regional exhibitions. The Smithsonian Museum of American History has my "Faces of Afghanistan" drawings (over 80 drawings, mostly portrait sketches of rural Afghans done from life) in their permanent collection. In addition to making my own artworks, I teach workshops and mentor young students. For more information, check out my studio web page.
I was interviewed by Meredith Adler for the Local HeARTed podcast. This podcast is a collection of interviews with artists and others in the art world who are based in western North Carolina, especially Asheville. The interview is rather lengthy at 1 hr 20 minutes, but it covers a lot of subjects and provides a lot of insight into what I do and why I do it. Click on the link above and it will take you to the site.