McLarty, one of the Northwest?s and Portland?s most enduring and important artists, has donated an edition of "The Oregon Portfolio" to Linfield College. The Oregon Portfolio was produced between 1996 and 2002 and is made up woodcuts of 21 artists. In celebration of this gift, a reception honoring Jack and Barbara (Lever) McLarty will be held Monday, April 26, at 7 p.m. in Nicholson Library on Linfield?s Keck Campus.
McLarty has been an influential Northwest painter, teacher and printmaker for over 50 years. Born in Seattle, Wash., he has made Portland his home since he was 2. In 1940 he went to New York for studio classes at the American Artists School and additional work with Anton Refregier and Joseph Solman. In 1945 he began a long association with the Museum Art School, now Pacific Northwest College of Art. During the early 1950s, he began to make drypoint, intaglio and woodcut prints. He spent time in France doing etchings with Paul Franck and in Oregon worked with the Japanese printmakers Akira Kurosaki and Junichiro Sekino and subsequently traveled to Japan. Periodic, extended travel to Mexico with Barbara continued to enrich his visual experience.
McLarty was recognized for his contribution to Oregon art with an invitational show in the governor?s office in 1985. He has had a number of murals on display in Portland public schools and other Portland venues. One of McLarty?s particular interests has been the design and production of hand-made books. He has four limited edition collaborative books to his credit, each with relief embossments or woodcuts included.
The McLartys are well known in the McMinnville area. Mrs. McLarty is a 1941 Linfield graduate and the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Henry W. Lever, who lived in the area for 20 years. Lever was head of the Linfield Physical Education Department from 1930 until his retirement in 1948 and also coached football, basketball and track and field. Mrs. McLarty attended grade school as well as junior high and high school in McMinnville. After graduating from Linfield College she worked for several years at Oregon Mutual and Courtemanche Hardware. She later was the co-founder and director of the highly esteemed Image Gallery in Portland for 25 years.
Linfield hosted a 50-year retrospective of McLarty?s work in 1993. The exhibit included drawings, paintings, posters, prints and hand-bound books, all from the personal collection of Mayo Rae Rolph Roy of Portland, a Linfield graduate and friend of the McLartys.