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Spotlight on River Basin muralist Ava Roeder


Mural #18 at the river basin next to Luminary Hotel depicts a mid-day soiree by guests on the pier at the Royal Palm Hotel. It was rendered by artist, art instructor and original Fort Myers Public Art Committee member Ava Roeder.

Roeder was a visual arts teacher for thirty-nine years and practiced everyday with her students. Retired for more than a decade, Ava now uses found objects, building relief and sculptural art in her mixed-media compositions. But this image brought back the opportunity to use drawing and painting media, perspective, scale, proportion, foreshortening and all the other tools and techniques that it took to complete the buildings, wharf, and figures.

Ava grew up on a farm in Upstate New York, but had the opportunity to spend time in the great museums in New York City. She received a Masters in Art Education at the State University of New York. It was happenstance that brought her to Fort Myers in the mid-1970s, when she began teaching in the Lee County School system. The last 20 years of her career was spent at Cypress Lake High School Center for the Arts, where she was a founding faculty member and the Chair of the Visual Arts Department. There, she developed a rigorous curriculum and set of activities, giving students an edge on the knowledge and skills of art making and art history.

Chosen as Art Teacher of the Year by her peers, Roeder was a National Board Recipient, founding member and Chair and Vice-chair of Lee Art Education Association, a member of Florida Art Education Association, founding member of Lee ACE (Arts for a Complete Education) Coalition and served as an examiner in the International Baccalaureate Art and Design component. Ava is a founding member and past Chair of the City of Fort Myers Public Art Committee, board member of the Alliance for the Arts, volunteer for Art in Healthcare, and heads the Chalk Block event at ArtFest Fort Myers.

In her free time, Ava enjoys her surroundings, particularly the plants, bugs and other critters that visit her at her home and studio.

July 30, 2023.

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