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story by: Dace Felton


My father’s early artistry was deeply influenced by the allure of French Impressionism, and his initial paintings beautifully captured the essence of that style. He nurtured dreams of spending a year in Paris, immersing himself in painting and connecting with fellow French
artists. However, destiny took an unexpected turn when the war shattered these aspirations.

Art, nevertheless, continued to play a pivotal role in shaping his future. Our property became a temporary residence for a German tank group, and amidst the tumult, one of the soldiers expressed a desire to acquire one of my father’s paintings. In an act of generosity and preservation, my dad carefully removed the painting from its frame, rolled it up, and presented it to the soldier. The looming threat of Russian bombings cast uncertainty over our home and all his artworks, adding urgency to our escape.

With time running out, the soldier who had received the painting came to our aid. He helped us board a train destined for soldiers, ensuring our passage to safety. Grateful for the assistance, the soldier shared an address of a family member in Austria, which became our beacon of hope. Armed with this crucial information, we journeyed to Austria, avoiding the fate of refugee camps in Germany, and eventually discovered a new home nestled in a quaint village amidst the Austrian Alps.

In this picturesque setting, my father’s artistic direction took a remarkable shift. He became captivated by the metal holy pictures adorning crossroads across the countryside. These rustic depictions, weathered and adorned with rust, held a unique charm that spoke to his soul. Symbolizing guidance and spirituality for travelers, they inspired my father’s artistic expression.

Etruscan Mural | 1988
Aug 4th - Aug 26th 2023

300 South Thomas Street
Pomona, CA 91766

The Pelican of Rhodes | 1970
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