The Pioneer

Local Artist Brings Urban Fine Art to the Bay Area

Aaron Permillion, The Pioneer

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Local artist and entrepreneur RobG3 is taking his life-long passion and utilizing it as a tool to bring forth a new type of art to Bay Area urban youth.

Born as Rob Grant III, 31, he grew up in Oakland and attended Bishop O’Dowd High School before graduating from Skyline High School.

Growing up in a family of artistic individuals, Grant’s interest in art peaked at very young age. His first memories of drawing are from about when he was four years old.

“I’m very passionate about art and furthermore, bringing a greater sense of fine art to the urban community,” said Grant.

Grant co-heads an art company titled Umi O. Studios with his younger brother and CSU East Bay student Umi Grant.

According to the website, the central mission of the company is to “Create works that our peers can relate to and that evoke a brand new appreciation for visual arts.

The various artists within Umi O. Studios express their creativity through murals, custom sports figures, specialty crafts and original paintings and prints. Through these assorted art pieces, the Grant brothers aim to bring forth their own style of art, which they refer to as “Urban Fine Art.”

Grant admits that the most rewarding part about creating his own original artwork is to be given the opportunity to bring a blank canvas to life.

Grant is currently a full time artist and continues to draw inspirations for new art creations from his everyday life and memories that evoke happiness.

“Anything that is a passion being done as a profession is a full-time job and so much more. But, when it is a passion you think of the time effort and energy put into it in a completely different light than you would a regular job,” emphasized Grant.

Currently, he and his brother are working to create two new product lines under Umi O. Studios. One line will focus on memorial artwork, while the other will introduce new sports art.

This past Friday, Umi O. Studios held an art exhibit titled, “VinStage,” featuring Grant’s artwork at InkWell Tattoo and Piercing Studio in Oakland.

A variety of different art pieces were displayed, including defined and strikingly detailed portraits of legendary 1950s sex symbol Marilyn Monroe and the King of Rock Elvis Presley.

With a viewer turnout of almost a hundred people, the community seemed to take an active interest in Grant’s artwork.

When asked how it feels to see so many individuals admiring his artwork, Grant said, “It’s really satisfying and gratifying. I enjoy seeing so many people being affected by something I created.” 

Grant also showcased a unique collection of artwork, in which the art focuses around famous musicians such as Carlos Santana and Miles Davis. In this collection, he creates a fusion between the instrument and the musician. 

His artwork will remain on display at the InkWell Tattoo and Piercing Studio until the end of this month.  

Grant also works directly with Art Smart, which is a non-profit education program whose purpose is to provide free enrichment art classes and workshops for children K-12 in the Bay Area. His goal is attempt to build a bridge between art, families and communities.  

“I feel art and artistic expression is imperative to the growth and development for children,” said Grant. “It is just as important as language and arithmetic. I want to continue reaching broader audiences and my ultimate goal is to bring a new appreciation of fine art to the urban community.”

California State University East Bay
Local Artist Brings Urban Fine Art to the Bay Area