PETER POWELL ROBERTS
The Man and His Art
by Jim Fitch
I'm writing to introduce Florida artist, Peter Powell Roberts, and his contribution to Florida’s contemporary art tradition.
I’ve also added a link to my Resume to better explain my thirty-year involvement as an advocate for the contemporary art and artists of Florida who, in time, will earn the distinction of being recognized for creating the visual record of a particular period, 1950 to present, in Florida’s art history. I call those artists who have brought creativity, skill, and commitment to that tradition, Florida’s New Masters.
Peter Powell Roberts is one of those artists who have earned the title.
Pete Roberts was almost born in Wales. His father died of a lung disease before he was born so his mother decided to leave her beloved Wales and move to America to be near her parents who settled in Cleveland, Ohio.
He pursued his artistic passion by attending the Cleveland School of Fine Arts graduating with a BA. He landed a job with a Cleveland advertising agency as Marketing Director. He held the job for several years,
but found the world of commercial art unsatisfying.
To feed his desire for art and art education Peter applied for a position at the Ringling School of Art in Sarasota
where he spent twenty-three years. He became a department head. And founded the computer graphics department that
changed the Ringling School of Art into the world-renowned Ringling College of Art and Design.
Along the way he earned his master's degree in education at Nova University.
Upon retiring Peter and his wife needed to leave Sarasota in order to fulfill Pete’s dream of becoming a full time artist.
They found the perfect environment in a rural setting behind Highlands Hammock State Park in Sebring and Pete set out to fulfill his dream. Access to the Park coupled with the serenity of his new home provided the inspiration Pete needed to begin this new career.
This was a time when Florida art, in general, was coming into its own. There was no lack of art but there was a lack of artistic creativity,
and he knew that to stand out he would have to find a signature subject and style. The Hammock provided both.
Peter used a gentle form of abstraction in his paintings I call Pete’s style “abstract naturalism” because it uses both of those art elements presented in a non-threatening way to people who may not be comfortable with pure abstraction.
In doing so, it furthers Pete’s legacy as both a painter and educator.
His work speaks for itself artistically and at the same time, reveals a world that exists beyond the obvious,
waiting quietly to be discovered..
Acquisitions Agent, Florida Masters Collection
Founder, Museum of Florida Art And Culture (MOFAC)