Roberta Heyer

Roberta Calvert Heyer 1919 - 1996

[Photo of Roberta Heyer] Born January 7, 1919 in Medina, Ohio, Roberta moved with her mother and sisters to southern California at an early age. She graduated from San Diego State College in 1940 and later returned for a second B.A. in art and a master's degree in art history. She taught at Bay Park and other elementary schools until her marriage to Warren Heyer in 1952, and then raised three children, Andrew, Kathryn, and Robin. Roberta taught art history from 1976 to 1989 at Cuyamaca and San Diego Mesa Colleges, and was active in the San Diego community all her adult life.

Roberta, a student of the late Bill Bowne at SDSU, was a painter of landscapes and city-scapes, and was especially influenced by twentieth century cubist painters. She allowed her knowledge of art to enhance every aspect of her life, from her spirituality and her love of humanity to her community work and her dedication to the preservation of the environment. Her paintings were featured in exhibitions at the San Diego Museum of Art, The San Diego Art Institute, the All-California Juried Exhibition Artists Guild, the Spectrum Gallery, the Brea Civic Cultural Center, and many other shows, including faculty shows at Mesa and Cuyamaca colleges. She often incorporated grids into her paintings, which suggest to the viewer an essential order that underlies the world of appearances.

Roberta was the great-granddaughter of A. I. Root of Medina, Ohio, founder of The Root Company, which produces beeswax candles and beekeeping supplies. Her father, Howard Calvert, who died in a plane crash in 1924, was a descendant of Lord Baltimore of Maryland.

Roberta had a personal stake in the success of the multi-racial Encanto community where she lived. Dedicated to racial harmony and quality education, during the 1960s she organized Children's Creative Workshops, headed leadership teams for developing human relations programs and workshops for San Diego City schools, and served a term as vice-president for Citizens for Racial Equality (CURE). In recognition of her efforts, she was appointed by Mayor Pete Wilson in 1963 as San Diego's representative to the County Human Relations Commission.

Based on her knowledge of historical architecture, she was appointed by Mayor Wilson to the Old Town Planned District Review Board, where she served for five years.

Roberta traveled frequently with Warren to Mexico and Europe, where she photographed monuments of Western civilization to inspire her paintings and art history classes.


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