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Martin Wong's legacy lives on at Cal Poly Humboldt

Weatherby's by Martin Wong
Weatherby's by Martin Wong, 1974, acrylic on canvas
 
ARCATA - Accomplished artist, Martin Wong, a 1968 graduate of Cal Poly Humboldt, has left a legacy of art and scholarships to his alma mater.
 
Cal Poly Humboldt 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 Cal Poly Humboldt Art Department, "Martin was an important creative presence during his years as an art student at Humboldt, 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 Humboldt 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 the campus'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. It now hangs in the Library," said La Plant.
Portrait of Bill McWhorter in Convertible with Boy and Dog by Martin Wong
Portrait of Bill McWhorter in Convertible with Boy and Dog by Martin Wong, 1975, acrylic on canvas
 
This painting is currently touring the world.