Muncie Arts & Culture

About Bob Hartley

My family dates back to the early settlers in Muncie and involvement with the arts is an important part of my family. My mother, Dorothy Neukomm Hartley, was a graduate of the Art Institute of Chicago in the thirties, before meeting and marrying my father, and namesake, Robert Hartley. She brought the big city Chicago influence with her when she came to Muncie and it was seen in the award winning ads she created for Ball Stores. My father passed away at a very young age and left my mother widowed with four young children. Raising her family became a full time job along with being the advertising manager and creative influence for Muncie's major department store. Growing up seeing my mother enthusiastically putting her creative self into her job and encouraging her children to discover their own creative spirit was a major influence on us all. My brother became an architect, my oldest sister expressed herself through writing while my younger discovered foreign languages. Oh yes, I became an art teacher and taught for 35 years at Muncie Southside High School. Upon retiring, my wife Vicki and I and opened a pottery studio in the Downtown Arts District across from where my mother had been creatively working well into her 70's. The Artist Within was the studio we opened and ran for 11 years, encouraging customers to "discover their Artist Within". I am now currently working with HeidiJHale Designs+Details two doors down from our former studio. Involvement with the arts and downtown Muncie are in my blood and I've been a member of MACC and served on their board for several years.