I met Roger Anliker in the fall of 1979 as a transfer student to Tyler School of Art from Rochester Institute of Technology. In a drawing structures class, required of transfer students, I was delighted to hear such a deep and exciting discussion of the discipline of drawing. My enthusiasm for the class gave way to panic and despair when I discovered I was in the wrong class, and the lecture I was so moved by was being given by Roger Anliker.
When class was finished, I stated my case to Professor Anliker, hoping that although I didn’t know the other professor, I had been enthralled by Roger’s remarks and I would love to switch to his class. Professor Anliker leaned back, paused, gave me an intense stare and said “I’ll see what I can do”.
Changing to Roger’s class was the beginning of what turned out to be a remarkable 35 year relationship that grew from being a student, a peer and eventually a dear friend. His efforts as an educator were selfless and remarkable, and often Roger would spend hours after class with those of us who were interested to learn more. Roger's lectures were characterized by brilliant wit, a nimble and creative approach, and consummate technical skill.
“Round Robin” was the first painting of Roger’s I had seen at a faculty show, and I was enthralled by the skill, complexity and originality of that painting. As I came to know Roger over the years, it was a perfect expression of His considerable dedication to quality and the aesthetic ideals he gave to his life’s work.
The years following graduation were met with opportunities for me to show my own work at various galleries and Roger began to take serious interest in following my exhibitions. Along the way we would share an occasional lunch, a museum visit, with every interaction characterized by dynamic and enjoyable repartee.
As time passed, the dinners and evenings spent were more frequent and filled with ever more amiable and personal interactions. My family became a sort of surrogate family to Roger, a commitment deeply implied yet never necessary to discuss. He would give my wife Lisa a choice of two or more hand made necklaces for “Sparing you for the Evening”. Roger always gracious, ever the gentleman would bring gifts, a home made edible creation, and ample charm whenever he came for dinner or holidays.
I had the pleasure of meeting his long time army friend Bert Palmer and his wife Agnes when they came to visit along with their son John several times over the years. The conversations often added a rich historical context to Roger’s life before I knew him.
In later years, my visits became more frequent and my role gradually came to entail helping with home projects and maintenance. Even through those years, Roger wanted me to “come as early as you can, stay as long as you like” and even if a project needed attention, the social visit and conversation about art was always paramount.
During the last couple of years, as health concerns developed, my family and I became caregivers and companions to our very dear friend.
Roger passed September 25th, 2013 and as a tribute to a deep and valuable relationship, it is my joy to help reacquaint the art community with this Singular artist and his remarkable work.
Dale O. Roberts
Copyright 2019 Dale Roberts. All rights reserved.