tampabay.com

Changing area is no longer his muse

By CURTIS KRUEGER
Published April 7, 2007


CLEARWATER 

Clearwater's best-known home-grown artist is leaving. Roger Bansemer plans to sell the rambling house, studio and gallery he designed off Belcher Road.

His rooms are filled with hundreds of original acrylic paintings of old boats with hulls reflected in seawater, classic lighthouse scenes, and books of his illustrations of Florida wildlife, hot air ballooning and his own journey to the Titanic.

Art lovers have come here for years to buy Bansemer's work, but there's another reason the gates are swinging open.

Bansemer, 58, is ready to leave the town where he grew up. His house is for sale, for $1.45-million. He and his wife, Sarah, will continue to spend summers in Flat Rock. N.C. And they are looking for a less crowded setting for the rest of the year.

Bansemer says he's fed up with traffic, congestion and overbuilding around Clearwater. He says it's so much different than in his part-time North Carolina home where "you can actually go out there for a drive and see beautiful scenery and not have 50 cars in front of you and behind you. ... That's almost hard to imagine after being here."

"All the urban eyesores have developed," he said. "It sort of creeps up on you, almost like a cancer, and then you realize, 'I have cancer.' So we want to get out of here."