Valuable painting now on display

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Still Life of Violin, a painting valued at $1.5 million, is now on view in Jacksonville.
Still Life of Violin, a painting valued at $1.5 million, is now on view in Jacksonville.
Still Life of Violin, a painting valued at $1.5 million, is now on view in Jacksonville.

Still Life of Violin, a painting valued at $1.5 million, is now on view in Jacksonville.

Already a well known painting with several major television appearances, Jacksonville artist RB McGrath’s “Still Life of Violin” painting was made even more famous when its image was pirated by a Chinese manufacturer in Xiamen, China (Mainland) for counterfeit sales worldwide, sparking a congressional inquiry by Congressman Tim Griffin into the Chinese piracy of U.S. art and a marathon of international attention.

The work is now on view at the RB McGrath Atelier et Galarie in Jacksonville. Plans are now in the works for a documentary film surrounding the artist and the painting by independent filmmaker Keith Hudson.

McGrath’s paintings are in the Clinton Foundation collection at the Clinton Presidential Center, The Governors Mansion Permanent Collection in Little Rock, The Ibla Foundation Headquarters in New York City, The City of Jacksonville public collection and in corporate, public and private collections throughout the U.S. and Canada.

“Still Life of Violin” is an oil on canvas painting measuring 30x36 inches. Showings are by appointment. McGrath’s gallery is located at 118 S. First St. in Jacksonville. For more information, people can call 985-2165.

McGrath has made numerous personal portraits over the years in Jacksonville, Sherwood and other areas of Arkansas.

In 2012, she was given an award of appreciation from the Jacksonville City Council. The award states, “For your love of art and music expressed to your City, State, and Nation through canvas and paint brush, that helps to create a more human world.”

RB McGrath was born in a fishing village named Branch in St. Mary’s Bay on the southern coast of the Avalon Peninsula on the island of Newfoundland. Born to a Newfoundland mother and an American Air Force father, the family transferred from Newfoundland to Jacksonville when McGrath was 14 years of age.

McGrath’s artistic pursuits began in the 1980’s where in Boston the artist painted a large mural entitled “Mother Earth” for a facility at Northeastern University.

In recent years McGrath’s “Portrait of President William Jefferson Clinton in profile” has been installed in the Clinton Foundation offices of the Choctaw Building at the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock. The artist’s Portrait of Governor Mike Beebe is now part of the Mansion Permanent collection, also in Little Rock.

McGrath works are in public, private and corporate collections throughout the United States and Canada, including an entire collection of city landscapes now installed in a permanent exhibit at City Hall in Jacksonville, courtesy of the Joan Zumwalt Collection.

In 2013, the City Council of Jacksonville unveiled McGrath’s first public art project: the design of the Fallen Hero’s Memorial Garden to be located on the grounds of the new Fire and Police facility in Jacksonville.

In 2010, McGrath’s “Portrait of Salvatore Moltisanti”, Founder and President of the IBLA Foundation, was installed in the IBLA Foundation Headquarters in New York City.

McGrath’s current project is a 30-piece collection of works entitled SHIFT - A Paradigm of Masters of the Arts, in which the artist is painting portraits of other artists.

The exhibit will include past masters of the genres of visual and musical arts along side current, contemporary masters who McGrath believes will dominate the next century of high arts.

The collection will include portraits of Freud, Picasso, Warhol and other past contemporary masters, alongside current emerging masters including Richard Miceli of New York, Mike Street of Los Angeles, Craig Sibley of Santa Monica, Calif., Elin Kolev of Germany, Patrick Gallo of Brooklyn, N.Y., Oscar Saenz III of San Antonio and others. The collection is scheduled to be completed in late 2013.

An avid amateur musician, McGrath also plays violin and cello as part of a seven-member string ensemble, and is a prolific supporter of visual arts and music education.

The Artist’ long term goal is the creation of a Jacksonville Center for the Arts which will house a museum of fine art with a permanent collection, an art school, a music school, and a performance hall that will be the permanent home of a Jacksonville Community Orchestra.

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