Roger Ivens Obituary, Death – The Kentuck Art Center is heartbroken to learn of the death of Roger “Ab The Flagman” Ivens, who was a frequent Guest Artist at the Kentuck Festival of the Arts. Ab has been exhibiting his work at the Kentucky Festival for the past 26 years, and his unique interpretations of various American symbols have garnered national attention.
Roger Lee Ivens, better known as “Ab the Flagman,” was born in 1964 near Lookout Mountain in Tennessee to a military family. His father was a member of the army. After asking a teacher in elementary school to explain the meaning of the word “abstract,” Ab’s classmates gave him the nickname “Ab.” This was the first time Ab expressed an interest in the visual arts. Ab was only seven years old when his father died, and the image of an American flag draped over his father’s coffin left an indelible impression on his artistic sensibilities.
Ab would spend his evenings crafting flags out of discarded pieces of wood, various found objects, and other recyclable materials after a long day at his day job as a carpenter. His most famous works include three-dimensional renditions of the American flag in red, white, and blue, as well as American eagles and Lady Liberty portraits. Ab was a skilled musician, particularly in the blues genre, and a founding member of the band X Miss Americas, in addition to his work as a visual artist.
Ab’s artwork can be found in a wide range of private and public collections across the United States. Some of these collections are on display in Orlando, including at the House of Blues, the Orlando Chamber of Commerce, and the Shakespeare Theatre. In 1996, the Atlanta Olympic Committee tasked him with designing flags for the Olympic Village. In Atlanta, these flags were displayed.
The House Family provided one of Ab’s American flags, which is proudly displayed in Kentuck’s conference room. We want Ab and his family to know that we are thinking about and praying for them during this difficult time.