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Bob Rankin

Bob Rankin is a distinguished artist who has not only crafted his own works, but also taught hundreds of students how to create their own. He has encouraged over 100 students to major in art at ECU. As a refocused high school art teacher, he maintains an active studio in Raleigh and one in Leesville Lake, VA. He also conducts art workshops across the country and in Italy.

Rankin earned his bachelor's degree in art education from ECU in 1970. While at ECU, he was a member of the Kappa Alpha order as well as a cheerleader and head cheerleader from 1967-1970. He then studied at the NC State University School of Design and the American Institute of Foreign Study in London. Then Rankin taught for more than 25 years at Sanderson High School in Wake County. From 1982 to 1985, he served as the co-chairman of the NC Art Education Association, Secondary Division.

His artwork has been exhibited in New York City, Philadelphia, Aspen, and many cities across the U.S. The former King of Morocco even has one of his paintings after an international invitational show in Marrakesh. His work hangs in many corporate and private collections around the world.

Rankin is an enthusiastic world traveler. His travels often inspire his work, such as a series of paintings representing scuba diving adventures in Fiji and the Red Sea. One of his paintings incorporated volcanic ash to create texture. He has sailed under the Harbor Bridge in Sydney, Australia, skied the Tasman Glacier in New Zealand, hiked the Virunga Volcano to see the mountain gorillas in the Congo, glided in a hot air balloon across the Serengeti, walked the Great Wall of China and floated on the Ganges and the Nile. 

Rankin has received many awards in his career. He is a recipient of the East Carolina University Alumni Association’s 2012 Distinguished Service Award. He was honored as the Secondary Art Educator of the Year by the NC Art Education Association. He is a seven-time Spectator/Metro Magazine Best Artist in the Triangle winner. He won the Raleigh Medal of Arts in 1992. He started Raleigh’s premier art festival Artsplosure. He is currently a member of the Raleigh Arts Commission. Under his guidance, Sanderson High School earned National Scholastic Art Awards and became recognized as one of the nation’s premier high school art programs by the National Scholastic Art Awards Organization.

Rankin currently lives and creates in Raleigh.