Renowned artist Myra Roberts is having an exhibition at the Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center in downtown Fort Myers. The collaborative opening reception of “Dream Peace” is Friday, Feb. 2, 2018, from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. The exhibit runs through Saturday, Feb. 24, 2018.
Pianist/teacher Roxane Olevsky, a new resident of Sanibel, will play during the opening. She has put together a selection of short pieces “reflecting the spirit of the exhibition.” Also performing will be Megan Shindler and her theatrical collective S(he) Will Fade, which “creates ethnographic work.”
As an artist focusing on social commentary issues, Roberts’ “Dream Peace” is her newest series of multimedia works—more than 60 paintings and found object installations. “Dream Peace” features poster-style paintings of contemporary political injustices, and of Bielski partisans and other survivors of the Holocausts—some of whom were interviewed by the artist. Also included are spiritual/Buddhist paintings that evoke the antithesis of war.
The testimonial video interviews are embedded in Roberts’ found object installations in the form of “talking suitcases.” Two-time Emmy Award winner Jesse Stein helped the artist with the videos. One “talking suitcase” features Sanibel resident Robert “Bob” Hilliard, who was stationed in Germany shortly after World War II’s end. Hilliard gives his thoughts about current U.S. politics.
“Making meaningful social statements about our human condition is important to me, and links the past and present,” explains the artist. “Crimes against humanity continue daily. We are all diminished when any person suffers because of discrimination. Our differences make life more interesting and our common humanity matters most of all. ‘Dream Peace’ inspires viewers to ponder the need for change.”
“Dream Peace” includes “Sandy Hook,” a painting about gun control; and “Never Again,” a commissioned work by Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida, titled “Never Again.”
In addition to the “Dream Peace” works, Roberts will exhibit selected pieces from recent series. “Florida Retro” paintings resurrect the Sunshine State’s past, and “Endangered Species” works draw attention to future concerns. “Smokescreen: Prelude to the 1940s” is a series of collages that depict American and/or German middle-class domestic life combined with images of Hitler’s rise to power. “Angels on Earth” celebrates extraordinary lives. Included is 2014 Nobel Peace Prize co-winner Malala Yousafzai, who is now studying at Oxford University.
The Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center hosted a retrospective exhibition of her works in January 2015. WGCU Public Media chose Roberts as one of five “2016 Makers: Women Who Make Southwest Florida.” Nominated by the public, the selection of Roberts was based on her impact in the arts and social justice in Southwest Florida.
She lectures and exhibits throughout the United States. Recently, Roberts presented a program during Florida SouthWestern State College’s Cultural Diversity Week at its Fort Myers campus. She spoke at the Progressive Women’s Day program in Fort Myers, was chosen as a judge for the 2018 ArtFest Fort Myers, and currently has a solo exhibit at the Captiva Yacht Club.
Sponsorships are available. For more information visit www.myraroberts.com. The Sidney & Berne Davis Center is located at 2301 First Street in Fort Myers.
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