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While studying electrical engineering at the University of Delaware, Robert Jackson took one elective in painting during his final senior semester--and it changed his life. Out of school and working for Motorola as a systems engineer, he painted on the side and developed his ability. After five years with Motorola, Jackson left the company to work with his church after accepting an offer to pursue the ministry. Meanwhile, his work began to be shown in galleries, and after six years in the ministry he decided to dedicate his time to painting. The polished realism of his oil-on-canvas still lifes offers viewers images of everyday objects arranged in a very deliberate fashion--you could say he's the Martha Stewart of realist painters ("Waiting" is pictured). "These objects are organic, snatched from a moment in time, already in a state of decay, short lived as we find life itself," Jackson says. See his new work before it perishes, in a joint exhibition with New York artist Blair Beavers at Somerhill Gallery through March 22. Call 968-8868 for details.

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