In the News | His art is ‘a gift from God’

Norwich, CT (The Norwich Bulletin, Februrary 28, 2020) — For 20 years, Roy Tookes’ smile has graced the halls and classrooms of Three Rivers Community College and, in all that time, no one knew of his amazing talent. On Wednesday, The Gallery at Three Rivers hosted the opening of his final show “Glitter.” Tookes will be retiring from his job in maintenance at the college at the end of the summer.

Art professor Sandra Jeknavorian said: “Roy is the kind of person that, whenever you see him, he brightens your day.”

"Glitter" at The Gallery at Three RiversTookes proved that at the opening reception. The gallery was packed with visitors, faculty, and staff to enjoy the artist’s work. Tookes shared a little of his background and love of art.

“I was in the sixth grade and not paying too much attention to what was going on in class,” he said. “So the teacher gave me a pencil and paper, and an assignment to draw George Washington. She’d seen me sketching before.”

At the end of the day, Tookes had drawn George Washington and the teacher couldn’t believe it. Ever since that day, Tookes has loved art. Even though his main love was sports, he still liked to sketch.

“If I had a pencil in my hand, I would sketch something all the time,” Tookes said.

The variety of media on the walls of the gallery attest to his talent. His signature piece, “Face It,” is oil on canvas with a lot of glitter incorporated into the color.

College president Mary Ellen Jukoski said, “I love the way Roy has used glitter in these pieces,” college president Mary Ellen Jukoski said. “So beautiful.”

His favorite artists include Leonardo DaVinci and Thomas Kincaid. He especially likes Kincaid because the artist became famous while he was still alive. Asked what inspires his art, Tookes said, “People really love my pencil work. If I can see something, I can draw it. People tell me it’s a gift from God.”

The artist gives all the credit for his shows at the gallery to art teacher Sandra Jeknavorian, but she gives the credit to Tookes’s personality. “He is so well-liked around the college, and everyone knows him,” she said. “With his retirement, we wanted to give him a good send-off with this show.”

With plenty of time on his hands after retirement, Tookes plans to relax with his artwork and do some things not rushed by deadlines.

“It makes me happy for another person to enjoy my art,” Tookes said. “I’d like people to know who I am—know that when they see my art, they know that I did it.”


By Toni Leland

The original article can be found here: “His art is ‘a gift from God’”

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