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Myra continues to educate through her paintings

September 28, 2016
By MEGHAN McCOY ( , Island Reporter, Captiva Current, Sanibel-Captiva Islander

A Sanibel artist who was a special education teacher for many years continues to educate the public through her artwork.

"I learned a long time ago that art can speak volumes where words can't," Myra Roberts said. "My art advocacy, social commentary art, is really nothing new, but I guess it is unique because there aren't that many artists out there using art to make statements, or to promote a candidate, or help our environment. It's not as common, but it is really important to me to integrate that into my art world consistently."

Roberts' latest effort in sharing information was done through her painting of Hillary Clinton as a young girl. She said she was attracted to finding out more information about the presidential candidate because of her involvement with children and education.

Article Photos

Anne Holton Kaine and Myra Roberts holding her Hillary Clinton painting.


"I have done my homework and research on her," Roberts said. "I just feel that she has walked the walk and gained my respect that way."

After seeing a young girl at a Democratic convention with tears rolling down her cheek, Roberts thought that maybe this young girl was thinking that one day she could possibly become the next president. So, the research began as the artist went looking for a black and white photo of a young Clinton.

"There I have a little innocent girl from a different time period where the message is we can get back to this and all be for the common good of man kind," Roberts said. "I want to encourage people to do their research and do their fact check. You do have to dig to find the truth. I do believe there is such a thing as fact."

A few weeks ago she received a private invitation to a home in Fort Myers to meet and listen to Anne Holton Kaine, an experience she truly loved because she too is about children and education.

"You can't have a large part of our population left out because they can't afford to go to school. It has to be affordable," Roberts said. "We will have a better world and less crime."

As she continues to be inspired by an individual's story, Roberts finds ways to incorporate their memories in her paintings as she educates the public and keeps their stories alive.

Roberts will be doing an art exhibit series for Hodges University, which in addition to her, will feature a few guest speakers.

"Right now I am working with a film maker putting my interviews together. I flew to New York to meet Holocaust survivors who are in their 90s. I interviewed them and painted them," Roberts said.

For both her Hodges University program, and Shell Point presentation, she is talking about her Holocaust paintings.

"The Holocaust to me represents all forms of discrimination, which I fight against," Roberts said.

The videos, comprised of her interviews with Holocaust survivors, will be shown at her upcoming shows on flatscreen televisions, which will be placed in old suitcases next to the painting.

"So it's sort of an interactive, auditory, visual show," Roberts said of her Holocaust and Peace 2018 show at Sidney & Berne Davis Art Center. "God willing it will come to fruition."



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