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Sculptor James Lee Hansen - Oregon Art Beat

Updated: Aug 5, 2023


Sculptor James Lee Hansen - Oregon Art Beat

There are many things in this life, gifts we are given by God that we can still use well into old age. We see this across the spectrum of subjects amd medium. Many people who are artists continue to produce some of their best work right up until God takes them from this life.

James Lee Hansen is a productive sculptor at age 97!

Let us ask God for the vitality to continue to work to his glory even unto old age!!





"James Lee Hansen is one of the Northwest’s most prominent and influential sculptors. His imposing bronze installations are on view at the Portland Art Museum, Maryhill Museum, Clark College and institutions throughout the region. Hansen established his own foundry in Battle Ground, Washington in the 1970s. Hansen is proud of the nearly 600 sculptures he’s created. “It's a legacy,” he says, “and I think everybody wants to have a legacy.” from video introduction



Sculptor James Lee Hansen
Sculptor James Lee Hansen

Biography "JLH enrolled in Portland Art Museum School in September, 1946, soon after being discharged from the Navy in March. He worked summer breaks during art school in various positions such as a log truck driver, long shore man, lifeguard, and linemen. In 1948, JLH began constructing a home, foundry, and studio by Burnt Bridge Creek, Vancouver, WA with salvaged lumber from the Vanport flood (a war housing city completely destroyed, 2ndlargest city in Oregon at that time). In the following year, his daughter, Valinda Jean, was born in July and he completed the first studio section and two rooms of the house. By 1950 JLH completed building the bronze foundry in the studio from salvaged industrial materials and had graduated from the Portland Art Museum School.

During this time period, Annie, who was always supportive of her artist husband, kept working and ended up with the Phone Company on the swing shift. This was ideal for JLH as he could continue attending art school, building their home, studio and foundry, during the morning and afternoon hours and then he could care for his daughter, Valinda, while Annie worked. You could say they were ahead of time, they had a vision and they both believed in it. After their second daughter, Yauna, arrived in 1956, Annie was able to quit working and tend to both the girls and help JLH in the foundry and elsewhere wherever she was needed.

1946 – Enrolled in Portland Art Museum School in September – worked summer breaks during five school years as a log truck driver, long shore man, life guard, and lineman.

1947 – Cary Life Drawing Award, Portland Art Museum School, Portland, OR.

1948 – Began constructing home and studio by Burnt Bridge Creek, Vancouver, WA, with salvaged lumber from the Vanport flood (a war housing city completely destroyed by flood. 2nd largest city in Oregon at that time)..." from his website biography at: jamesleehansen.com


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