Artist Rob Surette has a resume that would make any creative person envious. He is an Official Disney Master Fine Artist, an Official Star Wars Master Fine Artist and even an Official Muppet Master Fine Artist. He has appeared on The Tonight Show, Oprah Winfrey, Good Morning America and The Today Show. Surette is also a two-time Guinness World Records holder, but it is his school presentations that really motivate him and allow him to give back to so many.
Over the past 22 years, Surette has visited nearly 4,000 schools with his Amazing Hero Art program where he inspires students about their lives and provides incredible visual displays. His multi-media presentation is non-stop, and his energy is nothing short of incredible. During a presentation at the Swanson Road Intermediate School yesterday, Surette painted 4 original portraits of famous people in our society: Abraham Lincoln, Mother Theresa, Albert Einstein and Martin Luther King, Jr. And, this was only part of a program that was just under an hour. This guy paints like a runner sprints, and the results can be viewed in today’s slideshow.
Surette did two presentations yesterday and will add a third today so all SWIS students can learn about some amazing heros in their world. He also adds in some inspirational thoughts, “Humans can always rise up. You create the lives you want to create. This is my celebration of my world.”
Growing up in Andover, Massachusetts, Rob Surette learned to draw at the age of 3, largely guided by his grandfather. He also cited some teachers and coaches for giving him inspiration, “Dreams take time and effort.”
He graduated from college with a degree in computer science and business, but despite a growing successful career, he lacked fulfillment in his life. “I was born with the ability to draw. The question was, did I have the courage to be a full-time artist.” By his accomplishments, that is an obvious “yes.”
In the Career portion of his web site biography he wrote,” Rob’s mission is to teach others how to find peace, happiness and harmony in their lives. Rob expresses his deep and abiding love for others through his artwork.”
This program was brought to Swanson Road by art teacher Gayla Bieksha who used retained earnings from the school’s Square One Art sales to pay for Surette. The students were engaged and attentive during the entire program, and it was obvious they liked both what they saw and heard.
At the end of his presentation, Surette quickly rotated some of his past portraits for the students. Although there was no official applause meter in the SWIS auditorium, it was pleasing to hear the students react so loudly to people they’ve obviously learned about: Rosa Parks, Nelson Mandela, Gandhi and others. It seemed like the portrait of Taylor Swift would win the loudest applause since she’s both current and very popular, but when a portrait of Tom Brady went up on the easel, it brought the room to a deafening roar. This is New England after all.