Hands up anyone who studied the life of John T. Gayton in school. Dr. Nettie Asberry? William Owen Bush? Dionne Bonner didn’t study these historical pioneers, and she’s hoping to change that through art.
The Tacoma painter has just completed the 13th in a series of oil paintings of African American pioneers of Northwest history – of whom Gayton, Asberry and Bush are three. Bonner will exhibit all of them in the hallways of The Evergreen State College Tacoma, beginning Saturday. It’s an ongoing project for the artist, and one that she’s tied together with her own education and that of others.
“The history (of these pioneers) is so huge throughout the Northwest,” says Bonner, whose most recent work is a street mural on the intersection of Pine Street and Sixth Avenue in Tacoma. “It’s something I’m really excited about discovering, and I love to get it on paper.”