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Natalie Whitson

Voted "best girl artist" at her school in West Chicago (a small town in Illinois), Natalie Whitson won a scholarship to study art at UCLA. "I ran for student body president as a member of the Perfect Students Union," she says. "We did performance art to get people involved." Married a week after graduation, she and Mark Whitson lived for three years in Holland. "We liked the rain," she says, so they moved to Oregon on their return in 1989. "I picked up the Oregon Peaceworker and thought, 'It could use my help.'" Since December of '89, every issue of the magazine (10 per year) has featured her drawings. She earned a UO MFA in painting in '93. Her day job since '98 is development director for Northwest Youth Corps, a non-profit job-training and outdoor education program. "Fencing is my art now," she says. "I showed up at the Eugene Fencers Club in February 2000 and I've never left." Whitson teaches a fencing class at NYC in the spring and trains in the summer at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado. "I'm certified in level one foil and epée," she says. "This summer I'm going for saber."

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 31 May 2007

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