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Kathleen Gemberling Adkison

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Kathleen Gemberling ADKISON (1917 ~ 2010) Kathleen Gemberling Adkison peacefully passed on to the next level August 3rd at the age of 93 in Spokane. She was born Kathleen Parks on July 5, 1917 in Beatrice, Nebraska to Rupert Parks and Henrietta Williamson. She attended Hawthorn High School in Kearney, Nebraska for 3 years, moved to Seattle in 1930 and there graduated from Garfield High School. She had a passion for painting and studied art with Leon Derbyshire at Cornish Institute between 1938 and 1942. In 1942 Dr. Richard E. Fuller, founder of the Seattle Art Museum, curated her first museum exhibition and introduced Kathleen to Mark Tobey. She continued to study privately with Mark Tobey and Morris Graves from 1942 to 1948; she was Tobey's last living student. In 1948 she and her new family moved to Spokane but she continued to study art in Seattle, returning frequently by train for her ongoing lessons. She was an instructor at the Washington State University Extension Service in Spokane from 1953 to 1962, a Visiting Professor of Art at Gonzaga University in 1967-68 and provided countless hours of private class instruction in the Spokane art community throughout her lifetime. The first of 22 solo exhibitions in Seattle was in 1957 at Woessner Gallery. From 1963 on, she was represented by Gordon Woodside/John Braseth Gallery of Seattle where she had 20 solo exhibitions. Kathleen received numerous art museum surveys of her work during her lifetime, including Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture in 1963, 1974 and 1999; Eastern Washington State College in 1967; Washington State University in 1960; Whatcom Museum of Bellingham, Wash. in 1996 and Seattle Art Museum in 1962. She also participated in group exhibitions across the state and nation, including Northwest Annuals at the Seattle Art Museum; Western Washington State Fair; Henry Art Gallery, UW; Frye Art Museum; as well as in Michigan, Nevada, Pennsylvania, New York, Arizona, Colorado, California, Texas and Ohio. She was among only eight women included in "Northwest Art Today" at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair. Her abstract landscapes grew out of her love of mountain climbing, trekking and hiking. She climbed to the Mt. Everest base camp twice and traveled to England, Canada, Nepal, India, Bhutan, Tibet, Sikkim, Egypt and Greece after she married architect Thomas Adkison in 1968, founder of ALSC Architects in Spokane. Adkison's paintings were acquired by Boise Art Museum; Butler Institute (Ohio); Northwest Museum of Arts and Culture; Frye Art Museum; Jundt Art Museum, Gonzaga U.; University of Oregon Museum of Art; Seattle Art Museum; Tacoma Art Museum; Hallie Ford Art Museum, Willamette U.; and Whitman College, among others. Her work is included in numerous private collections as well as significant public and corporate collections including the Seattle First National Bank; Pacific Northwest Bell; Boeing Company; North Coast Life Insurance Co.; Pacific Gas Transmission Co.; and Lincoln Mutual Savings Bank. She also received numerous national awards from leading art galleries and museums including the Las Vegas Art Gallery; El Paso Museum of Art; Seattle Art Museum; Henry Gallery; and the Butler Institute. Her work was written about extensively in newspapers and journals in Spokane and Seattle, as well as Art in America, Architectural Digest, San Francisco Chronicle and Calgary Herald. Her children, Helen Braden and John Van Dewerker and four grandchildren, Mary, David, Ann, John and many great grandchildren as well as countless friends and associates in the professional art community, survive Kathleen. She will be missed but her spirit will survive for all to enjoy in her glorious paintings. Memorial remembrances or inquiries may be emailed to [email protected] or mailed toPO Box 6695 Ventura, California, 93001. A memorial service will be held on a future date in Spokane. The family gives sincere thanks Mr. Mathew Kangas of Seattle for his contribution to the historical content of this announcement.
Published in The Seattle Times on Oct. 3, 2010
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