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Elise Roome: Nature informed the Abita Springs Artist at Work


Elise Roome Retrospective A Memorial Exhibit of a Long-time Abita Springs Artist

It’s a retrospective spanning decades of pioneering en Plein Air painting by long-time Abita artist Elise Gleason Roome. Elise was a well-respected character around Abita Springs. She could often be seen heading out on her next painting excursion, with canvas and paints, driving her now-famous, dusty, little red Toyota. Elise was still painting until a couple of years before her death in December of 1999, at the age of 86. She told her son, Doug, only the death of her husband Francis dampened her call to paint. Most of her paintings are of the Northshore, Saint Joseph Abbey in Covington, and New Orleans.

Art critic and historian John Kemp wrote “Being in the fields gave her senses a chance to express themselves. Her brush strokes are broad and free yet the finished painting is balanced and controlled.”

Elise’s parents, Joseph A. Gleason, a noted state legislator and New Orleans city official, and Eugenie Foerster were originally from Uptown New Orleans. Elise fell in love with the Northshore as a child while visiting family in Mandeville where, in Lake Pontchartrain, she learned to swim. She moved to Abita Springs in 1972.

Receiving first place at the New Orleans Art Association Guild Show in 1964 gave Elise the confidence to further pursue her painting career. She received a B.A. in Fine Arts from the University of New Orleans. She then earned a teaching certificate from Loyola and began teaching at the Louise McGehee School.

She studied under Vera Reniker, Juan Calandria, Clarence Millet, Ida Kohlmeyer, and Foster Cadell.

Elise won over twenty awards in her career.

1st prize - New Orleans Art Association Guild

Grand Prize - Pirate’s Alley Show

First Prize - Slidell Art League

One-woman show at the International House Club; St. Tammany Parish Library

Exhibitor at the St. Tammany Art Association Summer Show

Exhibitor in the 1990 New Orleans Art Association National Show

Exhibitor and prize winner, Metairie Art Guild

Artist of the month - St. Tammany News Banner

This exhibit was lovingly curated by Mary Davis with generous help from Elise’s son, Douglas Roome, as well as those who are donating the use of their original paintings from their private collections. We are most grateful for their efforts to share Elise’s work with all of us.

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