Roger Robert Wheeler was born in Oregon in 1947. He lived in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle from 1956 to 2004. He is currently a resident of the Toshiro-Kaplan Artist Lofts. Located at 115 Prefontaine Place South in Pioneer Square, it is a live/work complex featuring painters, photographers, sculptors, architects, dancers and musicians.
Wheeler is a founding member of the Fremont Arts Council, which is responsible for the public art and activities that have continued in the area for the last 20 years. The Council's community projects include the Fremont Solstice Parade. It was Wheeler's involvement in the parade that led to mask making.
Wheeler's contributions have been to the Fremont Fair, the Solstice Parade, Oktoberfest, and Trolloween. Fremont's Rocket Lighting Ceremony gave Wheeler the opportunity to perform with his own words and music. He writes a monthly column for the Fremont Chamber of Commerce Newsletter, about the area's history. You can check this out at www. fremontseattle.com. Plans are for the column to become a book in the near future.
Wheeler's artwork has been seen in international exhibitions for the last 30 years. Originally a painter, his organic works in ink and acrylic combine post-modern painting with natural science. For the last ten years the emphasis has been on sculpture, particularly masks. Now much of his time is spent making masks for theater, ballet, parades, and gallery exhibits. Recent commissions include Chateau Ste. Michelle, and national exhibitions include "Maskhibition XI" in Eureka, CA and "Face the Nation" at the University of California at Davis.
Wheeler is a member of Fremont's Flying Dreams Collective. They recently returned from Taiwan where they taught mask making and parading. They also produced a play that was co-written by Wheeler.
In addition to these activities, Wheeler also has had letters and articles published in the Seattle Times and Art Access magazine, and has conducted walking tours of Fremont's public art.