Nationally celebrated artist dies at home in Oak Grove
George D. Green of Oak Grove, 76, a celebrated artist whose work is part of the permanent collections of over 70 museums, died April 14.
Green, a founding member of the abstract illusionism movement that became prominent in the U.S. during the 1970s, died at home surrounded by his wife, brother, sister and brother-in-law.
His wife, Jeri Hise, is the executive director of a nonprofit organization in his name (georgedgreenartinstitute.org) that shows some of the best paintings in the country to kids and communities that may be disadvantaged by geography or social circumstance. Founded in 2015, the institute dedicated to sharing a meaningful experience of art with Oregon youth plans to continue with its vision.
Green is a graduate of the University of Oregon, where he met his first wife, Charlene (the artist Cie Goulet). He received his MFA from Washington State University and then taught at the University of Texas, Austin.
While he was a painting professor at State University of New York-Potsdam, Green stacked canvases into a pickup and drove them to New York City. Louis K. Meisel, his dealer and friend, described the encounter: "A 6-foot-4 black-bearded man entered the gallery. I expected him to say he was Paul Bunyan, but he turned out to be George D. Green, an artist from the Pacific Northwest. He was then and has continued to be, a giant of an artist."
Green and Hise were both born in Oregon, but moved to New York City where they became celebrated artists. In 2005, the pair decided to come back to their roots and buy a home in the metro area.
The couple opened their garden last year to visitors, as part of a fundraiser for the Oak Lodge Library. As previously reported by Pamplin Media Group, their Wildwoods Garden boasted circuitous paths, sculptural elements, native plants galore and stunning views of River Forest Lake.
They had looked for a house for three or four months and then gave up and rented a large apartment in Lake Oswego. The couple eventually saw an Oak Grove property with a fast-flowing creek and a view of the lake and were sold.
In addition to Hise, Green is survived by: his daughter, Amber Charmei; son-in-law, Pavlos Ioanidis; brother, Sandy Green; sister, Meri McLeod; brother-in-law, Scott McLeod; granddaughters, Charlene and Mei Mei.
Ellen Spitaleri contributed to this news story.