November 13, 2000
Former Secretary of State Mixes
Art Media at CSUS
Former Secretary of State March Fong Eu combines Western technique with Chinese traditions to create innovative oil paintings, which will be on display from Nov. 20 through Dec. 14 at California State University, Sacramento.
The free exhibit is from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday and 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesdays and Thursdays at the University Union Exhibit Lounge. The public is invited to a reception for the artist from 6 to 8 p.m., Nov. 30.
Eu, a third generation Californian, was elected to the state assembly in 1966. After serving four legislative terms, Eu was the first woman to be elected secretary of state in California in 1974 and she served until 1994.
As secretary of the state, Eu was very influential in foreign affairs. From 1975 to 1983, she was the state's chief of protocol, serving as an official liaison between government and foreign corporations. In 1982, Eu was the driving force behind the establishment of the California State World Trade Commission and, in 1994, President Clinton appointed her ambassador to the Federated States of Micronesia.
"I have devoted a lifetime to public service. All of this left little time to pursue non-official interests," Eu said.
While balancing a busy political schedule, Eu became interested in Chinese brush painting and calligraphy during a 1988 trip to Taiwan. Her curiosity developed into a passion, but it wasn't until her recent retirement that Eu found the occasion to studying the art forms.
"Painting became something I yearned to do but for which I found only limited time. So one of the first things I decided to do when I chose to leave public service was to devote full time to an avocation which I learned to love and enjoy and find much personal satisfaction," she said.
Eu's talent for brush painting and calligraphy provided her with many opportunities to study in the company of master painters in the United States, Taiwan, China and Singapore.
Eu's paintings reflect the influences of her instructors with a touch of avant-garde Western techniques. Her work has the balance and harmonious design found in traditional Chinese art combined with an innovative use of color.
It has been said by several of her teachers that if Eu had started painting 20 years ago she would be among the today's masters.
"After more than 10 years of wielding the brush, she shows great confidence in her strokes which suggests mastery of the art form," said Yu-sheng Chang, Pacific Cultural Foundation president.
Before embarking on a successful political and painting career, Eu received a bachelor's degree from the University of California, Berkeley, a master's degree from Mills College and a doctorate from Stanford University.
For more information call Bill Olmstead (916) 278-6595.
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