Oregon Home Team
Marjin Wall took up woodworking because she needed furniture for the house she moved into to attend Reed College in Portland in the 1970s. “I didn’t own any furniture, so I signed up for a wood projects class at Portland Community College so that I could make a desk for myself,” she says.
For storyteller and ceramic artist Baba Wague Diakite, art began at home in the Republic of Mali in Western Africa. “I grew up in a very small town, where my education began through storytelling,” he says. “My grandmother said you needed to be educated before you went to school, and she believed her stories delivered an understanding that nothing else could. Her stories were the beginning of my artistic life.”
For furnituremaker Craig Windom, it’s all about the wood. “I love old wood,” he says. “I love searching for it. It’s usually wood that has a certain patina or grain. It may have been real weathered and beaten up and had some nails in it, but I can see the potential in it. I clean it up and it becomes a beautiful piece of wood.”
You can take an artist out of his hometown, but you can’t always take the hometown out of the artist. "I was born in a little town in Poland called Zamosc," says Tomasz Misztal. "It’s an Italian Renaissance town: An Italian architect designed the architecture as a twin town to Padua, Italy. I just realized about 10 years ago how that little place explains the Renaissance tones in my art."
In school, metal artist Nicky Falkenhayn figured out she didn’t have to choose between art and sport. "As a young adult, I was torn between going to art school or doing sports," she says. "I decided to do sports first because when I got older I could do art, but when I got older sports would be harder."