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Visions of the Flying Artist
||Born to a genius engineer-machinist in Southern California in 1925, Medora Nankervis started expressing herself through art as a toddler (Crayola the medium, her parents’ walls the surface), and started maturing as an artist in her 20s.
In this revealing memoir, Medora describes her coming-of-age experiences during the 1930s and 1940s: including seeing Nat King Cole and Lena Horne in person in the nightclubs of Los Angeles.
In the 1950s she was among the few female pilots and flight instructors flying out of the LA/Orange County area to short-hop destinations like Las Vegas, Palm Springs, Santa Barbara, Tijuana, and Ensenada.
She escaped death-by-airplane twice: once due to her fast thinking when her plane’s engine stalled over the Grapevine; and once when her husband failed in a murder-suicide attempt.
Once called an “episodic psychic,” Medora has always been led by her dreams. She forged a successful career as a painter, a mentor, a political activist, and finally a patron of the arts in and around the Rogue Valley of southern Oregon; she was among the founding members of the Grants Pass Museum of Art. In 2006, she was proclaimed by Mayor Len Holzinger of Grants Pass “a queen of the arts.” Now in her 80s, Medora continues to be a prolific painter. In 2007, a new series of 20 paintings, plus two retrospective series, went on exhibit at the GPMA in her one-person show, Three Series.
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