July 8, 2013

Jim Robb is a Yukon artist and story collector who has been drawing and painting squatter shacks, false fronted wooden buildings, log cabins, log skyscrapers, and the people who inhabit them, who he calls “The Colourful Five Percent,” for the past 50 years. He has an exhibit at the MacBride Museum in Whitehorse this summer that I am excited to check out.

JIM ROBB The Colourful Five Percent from Digital Engine Productions on Vimeo.

Jim Robb is also a columnist, collector, and historian but one of my favourite news stories about him is this one from the Whitehorse Star in 2007.

A local business owner purchased a Jim Robb painting with broken glass and a blood stain for $10.


The owner, who said he preferred not to give their name, said he ran across the painting of the Gold Rush Inn last Friday evening when he bought it from a man who was stumbling down the street near his store in the city’s downtown area.

“It was around 10:30 on Friday night. A man was stumbling with a picture. I knew right away what it was,” the owner said.

“I called the RCMP, not the 911 number.”
He said the RCMP told him they had already looked into the matter and that the drunken man with the painting should not be detained.

“I gave him $10 for it; I knew it had to belong to somebody. He took the money and spent it in my store. He bought Listerine and coffee.”

The owner said he would like to give the painting back to its rightful owner – whoever that may be.

“All I’m asking for is my $10 back.”
Robb said earlier this week he found it interesting that one of his works would sell so cheaply.

The original, he added, went for $5,000 but is still in the hands of its original owner.

From The Whitehorse Star