Today’s Women’s History Month tribute goes to Janice Edgerton Griffin, an active artist and mentor whom I call “Aunt Jan.” She was born and raised within the circle of my mother’s family and the Winona, Ohio Quaker meeting. When I was exploring ways to shape the book about my mother’s art, we reviewed her extensive collection of art books. I interviewed her in 2007, and we discussed how she and my mother became such passionate artists. I wanted to know how their background affected their ability to continue art throughout a lifetime that included significant home and family duties.
“We came from quiet, contemplative people.
When you sat in meeting, it was time to sort yourself and your life out, along with the Lord.
That has a remaining impression with kids as they grow up, and it’s a source of strength.
It’s the simplicity of how you lived your life — I think you never, ever get rid of that.
It shows in how you face the world, and what you put in a painting.
It’s a kind of truth that never leaves you —
people may rebel against it, but it never leaves you.”
Janice Griffin taught art in her Charleston, West Virginia studio, “Sassafrolly,” and she has won a strong following in that region. Her art continues to be shown and sold at the Art Store there and in Clifton Forge, Virginia as well as her new home and studio in Durham, New Hampshire. She has exhibited widely, won numerous awards, and is a member of the Monotype Guild of New England, National League of American Pen Women, and allied artists of West Virginia.
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