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Blanche P. Wilson aka Blanche Minnie Petersen Wilson Southwick

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Blanche P. Wilson
(Salt Lake City, Utah, 1922 - 2019, Ogden, Utah)

Blanche Petersen Wilson, b. November 26, was of Portland, Oregon, Salt Lake City, and Ogden, Utah. She was interested in drawing, painting, and sculpture work but was primarily known as a printmaker (woodcut). She attended Marylhurst College in Oregon, and after college she began drafting for the military and then worked for the Navy’s dazzle program which involved creating camouflage that made it more difficult to target ships. After the war she and her husband settled down in Utah and raised six children, during this period of her life she also returned to school and gained a teaching degree from Weber College. Soon after, she was asked by the superintendent of the Utah Schools for the Deaf and the Blind to substitute at the School for the Blind for the spring term. She enjoyed the experience so much she took classes all summer at BYU to learn how to work with blind students and returned to the school in the fall. She remained for 21 years, working with small groups of grade-school kids who were either blind or visually impaired. Because an advanced degree meant a better salary, she also enrolled in a master’s degree program at BYU. In the ’70s, after completing her degree, things began to take off. She found representation with Phillips Gallery and her work became known to a larger audience. Developing an impressive woodcut technique, Wilson has exhibited her award-winning work throughout Utah.

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