Geraldine Foote

Known to family and friends as Gerry, the artist and poet originated the gift poem series, Peace Leaves, for Portland, Oregon’s Hoyt Arboretum art festival. Drawing upon what nature teaches, the poems are meant to inspire, remind us of our shared humanity, and help us to live lovingly in a changing world. The poems are letterpressed offerings, sometimes in limited editions, using papers from many Asian countries as well as locally made papers from Oblation in Portland. The Oblation paper Peace Leaves are portable and perfect for receiving watercolors; Gerry often sketches on them with watercolor pencils, pens, and brushes while kayaking off Orcas Island, on the Willamette River, or while strolling along the many rivers and lakes where her husband and son fly fish. Her son’s recent sojourns for college in Maine and work in Boston and her subsequent trips to visit have added new inspiration for the work.

Back in the studio, the paintings are finished and for those not destined for framing, beads added, many of them hand rolled by the artist from papers from Peace Leaves papers or from magazines. Some of the painted leaves are matted with handpainted background papers and collage.

For over twenty years, Geraldine developed and taught in high school writing programs and later helped to found the low residency MFA in Writing program at Pacific University.

Her longer poems have been honored by the Oregon Council of Teachers of English, Soapstone, Poets Against the War, 4and20poetry.com and the Oregon State Poetry Association. Many have appeared in local and national publications. Recently, her chapbook Mouth Toward Sky was released by Finishing Line Press.

Of her life and work she states, “I strive to be a witness in a changing world, exploring my root as a fourth generation Oregonian and living my role as steward for a fifth, mining a familiar northwest landscape for metaphor and meaning.

Geraldine attended Stanford, San Jose State and Portland State universities, and earned her Masters from Reed College. She creates her art in her Portland studio and wherever her travels take her.

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