In 2009, I made a fateful trip to the local art gallery around the street from my house.  The exhibit was work produced by a group show of pen and ink artists called the INKMEN.  There was amazing work on display and the artists used a wide range of techniques to make their individual marks.  Each of the INKMEN came from a nearby community.  Robert Oughton, co-owner of the gallery, lived in Hellam.  Dave Haneman resided in Marietta.  Dale Weibley came from Columbia and Chuck Long from York.  Through the course of the evening, I let out the fact that I do pen and ink work and live right here in Wrightsville.  I was told to come by the next day and show them my portfolio.

The next day I showed them some samples of my work and thankfully my work was well received enough to get an invitation to join the group.  I was an INKMAN.  I count that moment as the beginning of the highlight reel of my life.  They provided me with the mentoring and encouragement I needed to produce my best work.  I have gained so many wonderful experiences hanging with this group in the various shows we have had since.  I have met so many artists and patrons that has enriched my creative life immeasurably.

Any success I am able to achieve, I will dedicate to my fellow INKMEN for without them I would not be here.

Bob Hammer

The Indelible Avenger