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About Clarice

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Clarice's background and journey into art:

Crayolas and chalk dust! From the first day of school, Clarice McIlvain knew what she wanted to be when she grew up: a teacher and an artist. She achieved the first part early in life by becoming a teacher of English and American literature and English composition. Becoming an artist has been a more gradual process, building on her native talent and interests by pursuing artistic learning opportunities throughout her life and continuing into the present.

Originally from Tonkawa, a small town in the oil, cattle and wheat producing area of northern Oklahoma, she moved frequently throughout the Oklahoma - Kansas - Missouri area, due to her husband’s work, as she worked to complete her college education and start her own teaching career. Clarice attended Northern Oklahoma Junior College (Tonkawa, OK), Kansas State Teachers College (Emporia, KS), and Kansas State University (Manhattan, KS) to obtain her B.S. in Education (specializing in English Education) from Kansas State University. She earned her M.A. in English at Kansas State Teachers College and she did her doctoral course work at the University of Missouri (Columbia, MO) and at the University of Oklahoma (Norman, OK).

Clarice taught English, mainly at college or university level, in Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma. Her family eventually settled in Norman, OK and stayed there for several decades until moving to Glendale, AZ in 2007.

With regards to her art education, Clarice did not have time to take many university courses in art as she pursued her degrees in English, but once she moved to Norman, she was able to study art at nearby Rose State College. Her main instructor and mentor there was Victoria Runge, a graduate of the Kansas City Art Institute. Vickie was a wonderful teacher and artist, and she is the person who taught Clarice the most about artistic techniques.

After moving to Arizona, Clarice continued her art education by taking art classes and workshops. She joined art groups, including the Phoenix Artists Guild (PAG), Arizona Watercolor Association (AWA), and the Arizona Art Alliance (AAA), and entered art shows, winning awards along the way (see a list here). Clarice was juried into the Arizona Art Alliance in 2009 and attained Signature Membership in the Arizona Watercolor Association in 2015. She enjoys learning about art from each of the artists she meets in her classes and meetings.

So crayolas and chalk dust have taken Clarice Wells McIlvain a long way.

Chalk dust: “The career of teaching English was so great! I hope I touched some young people’s lives by improving their writing skills and by introducing them to the world’s richest literature.”

Crayolas: “There is so much out there still to learn about painting – it is a continuous process. I still search for ways to express my feelings and my views of the world with sincerity and passion.”

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Honors and Awards:

Year Organization Venue Award
2018 Phoenix Artists Guild Fine Art Exhibit and Sale Pat Gellenbeck Award for Best Watercolor
2017 Phoenix Artists Guild Fine Art Exhibit and Sale Pat Gellenbeck Award for Best Watercolor
2015 Arizona Watercolor Association Fall Membership Exhibition Merchant Award
2015 Phoenix Artists Guild Spring Fine Art Exhibit and Sale Pat Gellenbeck Award for Best Watercolor
2015 Glendale Arts Council 52nd Annual Juried Fine Arts Competition at Sahuaro Ranch Purchase Award
2014 Phoenix Artists Guild Holiday Fine Art Exhibit and Sale Second Place - Watercolor
2014 Arizona State Fair AZ State Fair Fine Art Competition Purchase Award
2014 Arizona Watercolor Association Fall Membership Exhibition Merchant Award
2014 Phoenix Artists Guild Fine Art Exhibit and Sale Pat Gellenbeck Award for Best Watercolor
2013 Phoenix Artists Guild Winter Fine Art Exhibit and Sale First Place - Oil; First Place - Dry Media (conte pencil)
2013 Arizona State Fair AZ State Fair Fine Art Competition Fourth Place - Painting
2013 Phoenix Artists Guild Fine Art Exhibit and Sale Pat Gellenbeck Award for Best Watercolor
2013 Arizona Watercolor Association Spring Membership Exhibition Merchant Award
2012 Phoenix Artists Guild Winter Fine Art Exhibit and Sale Pat Gellenbeck Award for Best Watercolor
2012 Arizona State Fair AZ State Fair Fine Art Competition Honorable Mention - Watercolor; Honorable Mention - Acrylic
2012 Phoenix Artists Guild Spring Fine Art Exhibit and Sale Honorable Mention - Watercolor
2012 Phoenix Artists Guild Fine Art Exhibit and Sale Pat Gellenbeck Award for Best Watercolor; Second Place - Acrylic
2012 Glendale Arts Council 49th Annual Juried Fine Arts Competition at Sahuaro Ranch Purchase Award
2011 Arizona State Fair AZ State Fair Special Exhibit Second Place
2011 Phoenix Artists Guild Spring Fine Art Exhibit and Sale Second Place - Acrylic
2011 Phoenix Artists Guild Fine Art Exhibit and Sale Honorable Mention - Watercolor
2010 Phoenix Artists Guild Artistic Revelations Fine Art Exhibit and Sale Second Place - Watercolor; Third Place - Drawing
2009 Arizona State Fair AZ State Fair Fine Art Competition Honorable Mention - Watercolor
2009 Phoenix Artists Guild Summer Fine Art Exhibit and Sale Pat Gellenbeck Award for Best Watercolor

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