After receiving his BFA in Painting and Graphic Design at Auburn University, Rob Tarbell earned an MFA from the University of Tennessee. He went on to teach art and design at Limestone College, James Madison University, Virginia Commonwealth University and New College of Florida and presently teaches at Ringling College of Art and Design.
In 2014, Tarbell was awarded the John Ringling Towers Visual Artist Grant by the Arts and Cultural Alliance of Sarasota. Previously, he received fellowships from the Virginia Center for Creative Arts and the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts. This year he was a resident at the prestigious Hermitage Artist Retreat in Englewood, Florida.
During his career, Tarbell has shown in 20 solo and numerous group exhibitions throughout the United States, U.K., Korea and China. He is currently represented by the Claire Oliver Gallery in Chelsea section of New York. His smoke work was exhibited by Decorazon Gallery, London and Dallas; Krause Gallery, New York; and Alfstad& Contemporary, Sarasota, FL. His earlier work was seen at Dolby Chadwick Gallery, San Francisco; and Les Yeux du Monde and Page Bond Galleries in Virginia.
Tarbell lives in Sarasota, Florida with his wife, Anna von Gehr, and daughter, Dottie.