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Son pays tribute to a talented artist and stalwart of the community

PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 May 2018 | UPDATED: 16:09 25 May 2018

A son has paid tribute to his mother Carolyn Reeder, who dedicated much of her life to promoting the arts in the Lowestoft area. Picture: Courtesy of Gavin Reeder

A son has paid tribute to his mother Carolyn Reeder, who dedicated much of her life to promoting the arts in the Lowestoft area. Picture: Courtesy of Gavin Reeder

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A son has paid tribute to his “loving, kind and generous” mother, who was renowned for her outstanding dedication to the arts community.

An example of Mrs Reeder's dichroic fused glass artwork, which she enjoyed working on over the last 20 years. Picture: Courtesy of Gavin ReederAn example of Mrs Reeder's dichroic fused glass artwork, which she enjoyed working on over the last 20 years. Picture: Courtesy of Gavin Reeder

Carolyn Reeder died aged 77 on May 20 and is survived by her son, Gavin Reeder, and three granddaughters.

Having moved to Lowestoft in 1971, Mrs Reeder became a well-known optometrist and opened C Reeder Opticians in 1988 before expanding to Beccles and Southwold.

But her real passion was art and she tirelessly devoted much of her life to promoting and co-ordinating the arts in the area.

From 1991, she was heavily involved in organising Suffolk and Norfolk Open Studios, where artists and craftspeople open their studios to the public.

A son has paid tribute to his mother Carolyn Reeder, who dedicated much of her life to promoting the arts in the Lowestoft area. Picture: Courtesy of Gavin ReederA son has paid tribute to his mother Carolyn Reeder, who dedicated much of her life to promoting the arts in the Lowestoft area. Picture: Courtesy of Gavin Reeder

Mrs Reeder was also a leading member of the Norfolk and Suffolk Weavers Guild and taught at Lowestoft College for many years, while her endless passion for art took her into the Oulton Broad Art Circle and the Yarmouth Guild of Artists and Craftsmen.

She was the founder and driving force behind the Lowestoft Arts Centre that opened in 2000 and, upon retirement, turned her opticians practice into Art Spaces, a facility enjoyed by many artists as a meeting place for craft groups and life-drawing classes.

Mr Reeder said: “Wherever possible, she would give up her spare time to demonstrate techniques to both adults and children. Above all, she wanted to bring artists and craftsmen together, and involve the wider community in the arts. Carolyn’s husband, Mike, died two years ago and her son Richard, in 2012, but we all knew her to be loving, kind and generous.”

A successful artist and craftsperson herself, Mrs Reeder was well known for her spinning, weaving and lace making, while in the last 20 years her concentration shifted to pottery sculpture and decorative glass making.

In the 1980s, she was even commissioned to make Japanese ‘kumihimo’ braids for Paul McCartney and they were given as gifts to his touring crew.

Mrs Reeder was also noted for her painting talents, with her works regularly appearing in exhibitions and galleries across the region.

• The funeral is at 11.30am on Monday, June 18, at Gorleston Crematorium. All are welcome and flowers gratefully received.

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