Local boy makes good

He was born in Bend in 1937. He was raised on a farm near Independence, just a little southwest of Salem. He was the kicker on the 1957 Oregon State Rose Bowl team, though both his extra-point attempts in that game were blocked. 

He transferred to the University of Oregon and got his diploma there. He died a few weeks ago in a nursing home in Keizer.

In between, he became one of the great Pop artists of the 1960s and 1970s.

His name was John Clem Clarke. He lived in SoHo in New York City just about all of his professional life. He created impressive works of great vision, skill, and wit, and did so for many decades. Some of them are hanging in the big-name museums; on the other end of the spectrum, George W. Bush has one in his house. The styles range around quite a bit over the years. 

Not being a good art student, I had never heard of Clarke until the obituary, but looking at what shows up on the internet, I say yeah, wow. This early interview was worth a read, too, to see what he was about.

There oughta be a plaque in Independence, at least.