July 18, 2013 5:54 AM
(March 30, 1955 - July 11, 2013)
Well-known artist and Santa Barbara native Rodger Casier died July 11, 2013 at age 58. His bold experimental artwork was featured in numerous publications and local showings and was one of three artists featured in the documentary, Crazy Art, a popular showing at the 2010 SB Film Festival. One of Rodger's works was also honored as the National Mental Health Awareness Poster in 2006.
Rodger's interest in art was whetted in childhood by his family's extensive travels in Europe. During one lengthy sojourn he was able to attend language academies in Spain and France and visit many art museums. His childhood was also enriched by a dream come true for a boy, a 1967 tour of baseball stadiums with his parents and two brothers, who knew him as "Rodger Ramjet".
Rodger graduated from Santa Barbara City College with a focus on color, design and art history. He went on to study printmaking and graphic design at San Jose State University. His artistic style was characterized by experimentation in many techniques.
Rodger became a member of the Santa Barbara Art Association in 1983. On a number of occasions his work was selected by NARSAD Artworks (National Association for Research on Schizophrenia and Depression) and published in its selection of holiday cards. "Self Portrait" was featured on the covers of several professional journals. His paintings were published in a leading college psychology textbook by Dennis Coon. His artwork appeared on the cover of ten professional magazines dealing with mental health, including three on the prestigious publication, Schizophrenia Bulletin.
Rodger had an inquisitive mind. He was a voracious reader. His creativity was not confined to artwork. He loved to cook. His avant garde cuisine was based on recipes that went where no man had gone before, sometimes to the delight, and sometimes to the consternation of friends and family who consumed it. And his artistic temperament served him well as he assisted his father in many ambitious landscaping projects at their home.
Diagnosed as schizoaffective as a young adult, Rodger constantly struggled with demons. He was sustained by the love of his family and friends and by his desire to create. The theme of his national poster was "Sunshine from Darkness". His legacy truly is the sunshine of his art, his vitality and the memory of his smile.
Rodger is survived by his parents, Robert and Shirle, brothers Craig (Kristine), Bryan (Karen), nephew and niece Drew and Lizzy Casier. Also, Aunt Alberta Rossi and family of Los Altos and Virginia Andrews and family of Seattle.
Donations in Rodger's memory may be made to the Mental Wellness Center, 617 Garden St 93101 or Phoenix of Santa Barbara, 107 E. Micheltorena 93101.
Friends and family are invited to a celebration of Rodger's life on Saturday, July 27, 2013 at 11:30 a.m. at the Mental Wellness Center, 617 Garden St, Santa Barbara.