Madeline Bohanon: Tahoe Truckee art icon passes away |

Madeline Bohanon: Tahoe Truckee art icon passes away

Karen Ellis
Special to the Sun
Madeline Bohanon, in her studio, will be remembered as an artist, organizer and instructor with vision.

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; North Tahoe Arts and the entire arts community were saddened to hear of the passing of friend and artist, Madeline Bohanon.

Madeline was the founder of the Sierra Artists Network (SAN) which is now North Tahoe Arts. Twenty-one years ago she spread the word about artists forming a group and people responded with joy and enthusiasm. They shared their art; they shared their artistic challenges and grew as artists and friends. There were 23 people who met that first time at Rosieand#8217;s in Tahoe City to talk about an arts organization. The tree still stood in the middle of the road, 20 years ago.

When the group met again they decided a little larger place was needed to accommodate them, so they went to the River Ranch and 49 interested people came. Granlibakken became the meeting place because it grew to 93 artists. Bill Parsons supported the arts by giving the group a place to have art shows. Every month the group met for breakfast and sharing. Attendance and interest spread through word of mouth It was a positive experience for all and the foundation of the nonprofit organization, North Tahoe Arts.

Bohanon, mentor to many, and to her talented group of artists bonded to form Vision 10 and ArtQuest in the late 1980s. After a number of years the two groups melded to become ArtVision. Madeline was known by her friends and students as a kind, gentle and generous artist. Madelineand#8217;s great passion for painting extended to her joy of teaching students to reach beyond the ordinary; to realize personal creative capabilities and work toward those goals; she was always open to new ideas.

Mentor, teacher, hiker, contributor, artist, experimenter are adjectives that people have used to describe the breadth of influence and talents Madeline brought to art in this community. When asked in 2006 about one of her paintings of a west shore hike destination, Madeline said she got freer in her technique, more abstract, but found the work more accurately reflected the landscape. The follow up question was, and#8220;How long ago was it when you last hiked and painted?and#8221;

To which she replied: and#8220;Oh about seven or eight years ago I guess.and#8221; She had rich vitality and her face and personality shone with the same kind of radiance and light found in her work.

In August of 2009 Madeline was honored as the founder of North Tahoe Arts in an exhibit with ArtVision. Her abstract watercolor and acrylic paintings were highlighted with the work of her associates and followers.

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