February 22nd, 2018 — Far Navab
The small town of Hawley, Minnesota, is located east of Moorhead, at the intersection of the Buffalo River, U.S. Route 10, and the Burlington Northern Railroad.
There is of course nothing unusual or particular about this small town of 2000 people. Except of course for an artist, a painter, a Twin Cities personality named Bob Hest, who most recently found himself surrounded by rugs made based on his paintings.
As far as the eyes can see
When Bob grew up in Hawley in the early 1950s, he was promised one thing. That he could see miles and miles of farmland and that the warmth of family life would substitute the coldness of harsh winters.
Bob had a happy and inspiring childhood. He had a sophisticated mother with good taste for gourmet food and stylish clothing, and a father who was a teacher, a hobby photographer and an amateur Jazz musician, a sax player.
The largest nearby town was Moorhead but just around the corner was Fargo, North Dakota.
The two larger cities represented a different world, the world of car dealerships and afternoon matinees and movie theaters. Yet for Bob, Hawley with its simpler manners, its vast farms, its then 9 hole gulf course, its annual Rodeo (and Rodeo Parade), and Hawley High School’s Homecoming, represented the warmth and security of a small town.
Teach me how to paint
Going to college was something his siblings did and in time, he had to do. For him the choice was obvious, Moorhead State. There he would follow what came natural to him, art. The influence of his father, going to various Jazz clubs with him, and watching his father develop his prints in his dark room, encouraged him to take the artistic route. Later on he would work at a gallery in Fargo, the only gallery that showed contemporary art in North Dakota.
In the 80s and 90s Bob who had already moved to the Twin Cities, hooked up with a talented local band in Minneapolis called the Wallets. Soon he became Wallets manager playing in various local and national venues. When the Wallets disbanded Bob and the band’s creative leader, Steve Kramer, started an advertising firm that made musical Jingles for major US companies.
These days Bob is primarily doing his art, making paintings that resonate with scenes from his childhood. The fox, the horse, the circus or his friends and family, are all subjects of his paintings. Here is a fox making a quick run to the lake. There you see a horse grazing on the landscape of Bob’s childhood.
“Wouldn’t it be great if we made some rugs based on your paintings?” I asked Bob one summer afternoon. “Sure why not” responded forever agreeable Bob.
That was the beginning of Navab Brothers’ rug project with Bob Hest. Making hand knotted rugs in India based on Bob’s paintings have become a huge success! Rugs are now ordered on a regular bases. Whats more is that we can make these rugs in any size you desire. We have the Ballerina and the Bull amongst other subjects.
Magic on the walls and the floors
The magic of these rugs is that they capture the essence of Bob’s paintings, his simple and honest positivity. In a world full of hatred and conflict, Bob’s paintings and now rugs, give us an opportunity to imagine a better world. His rugs bring warmth to our homes as his paintings do the same for our walls. Hope and happiness exude from the imagination of the artist, touching our lives in the most positive way.