lynn earnest biography

Born in 1946 in a small but architecturally notable town, Lynn was lucky enough to grow up in the rugged mountains of Southern West Virginia and study under an intellectually stimulating group of teachers. This wild and physically beautiful environment of hemlock and rhododendron covered mountains and fast water was criss-crossed by a network of beveled stone walls cut by German and Italian immigrants, early in the 20th century. Lynn's own background of second generation Italians and 1734-established Germans, connected her tightly to cultures of the old world, in the midst of living the small town American Dream.

The close mountains were thus carved into a livable and elegant small town, the county seat of McDowell County. The high school teaching staff of the 1950's and 60's taught from University textbooks in an effort to stimulate and develop talents of an intellectually agressive group of post-war babies. Studies in medical sciences in high school started when Lynn was about eleven under direction of some local doctors. Cultivated to become a doctor, Lynn would later recieve gradualte scholarships to study medicine and the biological sciences. Lynn attributes these opportunities to this small town's valuing education.

Her aptitude in the sciences would weave in and out of her fine arts interests. The correlation between the arts and the sciences, she insists, is parallel. She sees both as overlapping pattern identities. Many of the collectors of her Artworks are indeed scientists and, predominately, medical persons. Later, her lectures in fine arts theory would underline similarities in these two discipines.

Lynn's earliest management of the arts included musical productions, dance, and choreography in a local Keith-Albee theatre. The Pocohontas Theatre with its white marble lounges in the old school style architecture, barrel vaulted cieling, and extensive stage and dressing rooms allowed New York productions to visit the small but multicultured mining community, located at what one might say was 'the very end of the earth'. This duality of talents and aptitudes were to mark Lynn's career.

While studying at Queen's College [now Queens University], in Charlotte NC, Lynn did so under an academic Dana Scholarship and worked in biological research for the National Science Foundation, drawing and assisting with the college science labs. She worked there with artist-potter, Tom Mason, as assistant, and also under subtle encouragement from artist-designer George Shealy. It was at Queen's that Lynn first seriously studied the arts; it was drawing which opened the doors of perception for her, taught her to "see".

Lynn's terminal degree was earned at The George Washington University from 1968-1970 while studying under the renowned Japanese artist-potter, Teruo Hara, a friend of Volkous and Noguchi. He and his wife, Tomoko, also an artist of textiles, opened their home in Virginia to a small but select group, who apprenticed under his artistry and direction. The students were totally immersed into the Japanese lifestyle while working at his Warrenton Studio.

Before entering the GW MFA program in Sculpture, Lynn's independent studies while traveling and living as a student in Europe took her to such places as Santoreni in Greece, Germany, the Netherlands, France and Italy, where she drew and studied architecture and artworks by the Old Masters. It was on the strength of these studies she was admitted into the graduate program at The George Washington University. Lynn did in fact, forego two academic medical scholarships, changing her course of endeavor to concentrate on the fine arts.

To finance this change of program, Lynn worked Top Sectret in the medical arts with John I Thompson and Company; a medical, engineering, and research group in DC. As the NIH project contract developed, John I Thompson & Company bought a tract of property in Rockville MD [built in the middle of what Lynn considered a borderless cowpasture], and became Tracor, the first research think-tank in what is now the massive Rockville research triangle. Other research triangles would follow. Typically, and even in the medical arts, Lynn was at the idea frontier. Lynn and a small team of researchers kept a somewhat fragile liason of international biochemical research together with a Russian scientist who disappeared soon after the contract started.

Lynn's MFA work in sculpture continued formulating ideas she had started earlier while studying at Queen's College. Later, when Lynn was conferred a fine arts degree in sculpture and architecture, the effects of growing up in Welch's scuptural, albiet architectural, environment would integrate her studies in the visual arts with architectural theory. As Professor of Art in a small college in Southern West Virginia, she continues to teach the visual arts and architecture.

Most recently she is concentrating on production, exhibition and opening sales of some of her museum quality artworks. Her studio is based in the heart of Lincoln County, West Virginia and her exhibits are available to individual collectors as well as museums. "I want people to understand that the fine arts are not just 'fine' because of the artist's technique and expertise, but because of the quality and content of the ideas that are presented. They are also the result of generations of fighting for the right to develop and create those ideas freely to allow them to grow and change through criticism and dialogue. This is the victory of freedom.

Historically, Lynn's family fought in the Revolutionary War, the Civil War, and both World Wars. "I value the freedoms their lives have won. I believe the freedom to individually explore and the liberty to exercise creativity is paramount. We must cherish the right of communication, of ideas to evolve. We must open our minds, so that we can embrace learning and growth to allow our spiritual evolution individually as a species, and as a culture. Our very survival as humans depends on our cultivating an environment of tolerance for this - individual freedom to think and openly discuss ideas."

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lynn earnest     star route one, box 128     griffithsville, wv 25521