1968, Ken Rush


Ken Rush

I was 19 years old, newly married, and my wife, Martha, and I went to Skowhegan directly from our brief honeymoon. My painting studio was a small stall which faced out on the lawn below the barn. It was the first time in my life that I was able to paint full time without the interruption of some sort of school structure. It was a freedom that I have waited almost 50 years to be able to fully enjoy again.

While I kept up my studio practice during my 43 year art teaching career, my thoughts always go back to those brilliant summer days in Maine. Special moments that come to mind include the weekly visits by Jacob Lawrence. He had a gift for pushing me through a few gentle comments. He was also the first person of color I ever had as a mentor—something which seems inexplicable today, but at the time opened me to an entirely new view of the world.