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Carolyn Osborne-Sommer

A "Navy brat" as a kid, Carolyn Osborne-Sommer grew up in little quonset huts and went to 12 different schools. At age 10, in her first year off-base, she took art classes at a community center in Imperial Beach, California. At 16, she taught "clay-play" to kids at the same facility. "Early on, I learned I could make a difference, be part of a community," she says. After a brief career in dental hygiene, a brief marriage, and the birth of her daughter Amy, who is deaf, she moved north to Shasta County, where deaf kids could attend regular classes. "I'd teach an art class so that the teacher could do speech therapy," says Osborne-Sommer, who did the same at Harris School after moving to Eugene in 1978. Here she also married Tripp Sommer, earned a BFA degree, and became a "rogue teacher" at many venues and an advocate for local arts groups. She currently teaches at the Rural Art Center in Lorane and offers private lessons in her backyard Sandune's Raku Studio (607-0177). She has an artwork on display through April 18 in The Political Show, a national juried exhibit at Linn-Benton CC in Albany.

happening people

photograph and story by Paul Neevel

Eugene Weekly / 20 March 2008

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