Obituaries

The Register Guard (Eugene, OR), January 8, 2003 | Go to article overview

Obituaries


Byline: The Register-Guard

David George Foster

A celebration of life will be held Sunday for David George Foster of Springfield, professor emeritus in the University of Oregon Department of Fine and Applied Arts, who introduced students and faculty to photography, silkscreen printmaking and film in the 1950s and '60s, video in the '70s and computers in the '80s.

Foster died Dec. 21 when he was struck by a vehicle while crossing Main Street about 6:30 p.m. He was 78.

He taught the art department's first courses in photography, graphic design, film and video. He taught in the UO Honors College and was a visiting scholar at Mount Angel College in 1967-68, where he was once considered for the presidency.

He was also a filmmaker who produced three films for his master of fine arts degree at the UO in 1957 and a number of commercials for the Shakespearean Festival in Ashland.

He was born Jan. 13, 1924, in Multnomah, Ore., to Winfield and Marie Yaden Foster. A 1941 graduate of Salem High School, he served in the Army from 1942 to 1945 and attended Willamette University and the UO.

He studied at the New Bauhaus Institute of Design in Chicago from 1946 to '47 and received his bachelor of science degree from the Institute of Design at the Illinois Institute of Technology in 1951.

He taught art at Springfield High School in the mid-1950s before joining the UO faculty in 1960 and served as head of the art department from 1978 to 1985, when he retired and taught part time.

He opened his house to help students print publications on an old letterpress in his garage. He started Iron Rose Studio to produce short films and publications.

He once said, "I never taught anything I didn't want to learn." Students from English, drama, journalism, architecture and law sought out his classes. Many of them went on to become outstanding professionals in the film and TV industry, architecture, design, education and computer graphics.

One of his students, Richard Hoover, was visual effects supervisor for the movies "Armageddon," "Inspector Gadget," "Unbreakable" and the recent "Reign of Fire."

Foster worked in film and moving picture technologies all his life and sought to make new technologies portable and personal. He once modified a Volkswagen van to hold a complete computer graphics work station so he could travel and draw pictures in the Oregon woods.

An article about his work and his van was published in Germany in 1997 in a book titled "Computer Art Faszination."

He lived in Marcola for years and loved the countryside. He supported the Marcola volunteer fire department breakfasts by designing their annual poster and printing their tickets.

In addition to Springfield, Marcola, Salem and Eugene, he lived in Klamath Falls and was a Lane County resident for 50 years. His hobbies included photography, camping and painting.

He is survived by a sister, Jenny Luck of Eugene.

Sunday's celebration will be from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Gerlinger Alumni Lounge on the UO campus, 1468 University St. Poole-Larsen Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Memorial contributions can be made to the David G. Foster Endowed Fund for Teaching in Fine Arts, payable to the University of Oregon Foundation/Foster Fund. Donations, which will support innovations and excellence in teaching in the UO art department, should be mailed to School of Architecture and Allied Arts, Office of Research and Development, 5235 University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97403-5235.

A Web site has been set up providing information on Foster's life and work. The address is www.skoo.com.

Mildred Crocker

Mildred Francis Crocker of Langlois, formerly of Eugene, died Dec. 30 of age-related causes. She was 91.

Crocker was born Aug. 6, 1911, in Monroe to Robert and Mary Carson Pfouts.

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