Robbie Best obtained a BFA in Painting from Wayne State University after retiring from a career in Social Work. The most consistent theme in her work is visibility because she recognizes that historically black people have been rendered invisible. She maintains that the act of seeing is a choice and one can choose not to look at something or someone. Consequently, she strives to render the black image in a positive way. Best started out painting the figure however early on she embraced abstraction. She deconstructs and simplifies the human form while maintaining the rhythm and dynamic character of the figure. Her style is often described as painterly and her images are fluid and organic. The artist states that she feels that abstraction represents freedom and empowerment for her as an individual and as an artist. This artist is constantly exploring new techniques and experimenting with texture and color.
Solo Exhibitions are as follows: “Life for Me, The Artwork of Robbie Best” Charles Wright Museum of African American History; “Life Lessons” 4731 Gallery; “Paintings by Robbie Best” and “The Color of Emotion” at the National Conference of Artists (NCA) in Detroit, Michigan and “Giving Birth to Self” City Gallery at the Costick Center, Farmington Hills, MI.
She has participated in numerous group exhibitions including the nationally known Black Fine Art Show in New York City, “Art in Abruzzi Exhibit” in Galiano, Italy; “American Cities Series: Detroit Works on Paper” Brandywine Gallery of Art, Philadelphia, PA; “Waynemania” Wayne State University, Detroit, Mi; “Face to Face” Del Pryor Gallery, in Detroit, MI; “New Media Abstraction and Identity Politics” Rosenthal Gallery and Ellington White Contemporary Gallery in Fayetteville, NC; “The Detroit Show” Wayne County Community College, Detroit, MI; “Detroit Regional Bombay Sapphire Artisan Series”, Charles Wright Museum, Detroit, MI; Allee Willis Exhibit in Los Angeles, CA; The Taubman Health Center, Ann Arbor, MI; “73rd Annual Art At The BBAC Show”, Birmingham Bloomfield Art Center, Birmingham, Mi; “Beyond Constraint”, Janice Charach Gallery, West Bloomfield, MI; “Women’s Work”, Lawrence Street Gallery, Ferndale, Mi; Our Town Art Show, Birmingham, MI; N’Namdi Gallery, Detroit, MI; J.R. Rainey Gallery, Detroit, MI; Ellen Kayrod Gallery; “Dynamic Painting” Birmingham Society of Women Painters, The Detroit Public Library, Detroit, Mi; NCA Annual Art Party, Detroit, MI; Delta Sigma Theta Annual Art Party, Detroit, MI.
Special Recognition and Awards include being named Artist in Residence for the Farmington Area Arts in 2011. Her work was sold in the Gray’s October 10th auction in Cleveland Ohio in 2018. Her work is among others featured in the International Review of African American Art volume 28 number 4. She was commissioned to do the cover for LIFETIME TRIBUTE TO GERI ALLEN CD, by the Detroit young jazz giants, celebrating the life of jazz pianist Geri Allen. Her work is on display at the Farmington City Hall as part of its public art program. Robbie’s art can be found in both private and public collections including the Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital and Detroit campus. She is a member of the Executive Board of the National Conference of Artists, the Program Chair of the Birmingham Society of Women Painters, and a member at large of the Scarab Club, the Detroit Fine Art Breakfast Club, and the Farmington Art Club.