One ringy dingy…

Christopher RobinArts 865, Fountain City

Vintage. Old school. Retro. Landline.

Whew, I had not really thought about the evolution of the telephone until taking on this piece. Surveying items with a classic style to try a new paint technique, I found a basic black, standard issue desk telephone. Modified it to hipper colors.

Readers of a certain age can relate to the dynamics of a family phone. Having to share, respecting time limits and stretching the cord to banjo string tightness for a hint of closet privacy would have Gen Y shaking their heads. These humble phones had one job. If we had known its future resume would include computer, camera, movie screen, recorder, flashlight, wallet, map, unlocking doors, reading books, and an encyclopedia maybe we would have taken more care.

When is the last time you used a phone book? To finish out this piece with a flashback font, I went looking for a phone book. Not easy. These images were finally secured at the McClung Resource Library. Yes, the lowly phone book now involved a drive, a request and a wait to view! It was an interesting visit to the days of 1965. It’s been a nostalgic process and stirred up a new longing to make a prank call.

Let your fingers do the walking. …

This piece is currently on display in the Fountain City Art Center until March 10.

Photographer Chris and painter Robin Rohwer each week share a painting or photograph that captured their interest in hopes that it will also capture yours. They have a small studio and gallery in the Emporium Center in downtown Knoxville where you can stop and see their work. Their website is If a particular piece interests you for your home or office, please contact them. All works are copyright protected.


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