Friday, November 16, 2007

my favorite art teacher

After Steven wrote something about which teachers may have made a lasting impact, I tried to think of the art teacher in my life who did.

It wasn’t the teachers who told me what I could not do – and there was a few. It was the one who told me what I could do: my high school art teacher, Grace Henson.

I was almost going to say that art had nothing to do with it, because she provided a safe harbor in place that did not have so many. Her art room at Phoenix High School (in Phoenix, Oregon, population 4,378) was this oasis in the middle of a desert.

- But of course art had everything to do with it. I made my first photomontages in her class; I never stopped making them. And it was here that my art pal Ross Sutherland made cool silk-screens – I still have his Hindenberg Zeppelin, exploding at Lakehurst, white on black paper.

We kept in touch. She had a cool shop in Ashland for a spell. When I first moved back here, I would see her at the Portland Art Museum, where she was a docent. Now she lives in Hillsboro and will have a studio at the Sequoia Gallery and Studios, a city-supported project.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I, too, have an art teacher who made an impact on my life. His room was a safe place where we could work and talk and learn about life. When the sister of a friend of mine died in my senior year, it was in the art class room that we gathered to do our grieving.