Art Inside the HSU Library Tour
Martin Wong

Humboldt State University
Office of University Communications

February 19, 2003

Martin Wong's legacy lives on at Humboldt State

Weatherby's, by Martin Wong, 1974, acrylic on canvas.
"Weatherby's," by Martin Wong, 1974, acrylic on canvas.

ARCATA - Accomplished artist, Martin Wong, a 1968 graduate of Humboldt State University, has left a legacy of art and scholarships to his alma mater.

HSU is a beneficiary of the San Francisco-based Martin Wong Foundation, an organization formed by his mother, Florence Wong Fie, in honor of her son. Two annual scholarships have been created: a $1,000 scholarship for painting students and a $500 scholarship for ceramics students.

According to Elizabeth Boone, Chair of the HSU Art Department, "Martin was an important creative presence during his years as an art student at HSU, and he went on to become an important player in the art world at large. The new Martin Wong Scholarship offers us the opportunity to ensure that Martin's influence will continue to impact students of painting and ceramics for years to come."

Wong came to Humboldt County in 1964 to attend HSU and study ceramics. After graduating, he stayed in the area through 14 years, becoming a significant contributor to the vibrant Humboldt arts scene.

The artist's career soared when he later debuted in New York, making him one of Humboldt County's greatest success stories. His work is in numerous museum collections, including the Whitney Museum of American Art, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the Bronx Museum of Art, all in New York. Wong died in 1999, at the age of 53.

At the time, an exhibition of Wong's work from his "Eureka Years" was coincidentally presented by HSU's First Street Gallery and curated by friend and artist Mimi La Plant.

"The legacy of Martin Wong, as proven by his paintings, is profound and far-reaching. The Martin Wong exhibit had a poignant power that people still speak to me about. At that time he gave a wonderful painting ("Portrait of Bill McWhorter in Convertible with Boy and Dog") to Humboldt State. It now hangs in the Library," said La Plant.

Portrait of Bill McWhorter in Convertible with Boy and Dog, by Martin Wong, 1975, acrylic on canvas.
"Portrait of Bill McWhorter in Convertible with Boy and Dog," by Martin Wong, 1975, acrylic on canvas. This painting is on display on the first floor of the HSU Library.

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Last Updated: June 15, 2003

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