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.