Washougal Art Teacher, Music School Owner Honored

The Washougal Arts and Culture Alliance (WACA) named Jeffree White and Alice Yang as 2022 Artist and Community Member, respectively, in recognition of their “meaningful” contributions to the Washougal arts scene.

Yang works as an art teacher at Cape Horn-Skye and Cape Creek Middle elementary schools, and White owned and operated Washougal School of Music before moving to Mexico earlier this year.

“It is remarkable to see the beauty and mastery of Alice’s students on display each year at the Washougal Youth Arts Month Gallery,” said WACA Board Member Rene Carroll. “And although Jeffree no longer resides in our community, we believe his contributions to art in Washougal have been significant and will endure.”

White and Yang will be recognized at a public rally, to be held at 3 p.m. Monday, Sept. 26 at 54-40 Brewing Company in Washougal.

“We are fortunate to have such talented and inspiring people in our community who are dedicated to promoting the arts,” said WACA President Molly Coston. “We are honored to recognize Alice and Jeffree for their significant contributions.”

Both winners said they were surprised to learn that they had been recognized by WACA.

“Being in my own home-based business bubble, I don’t always see the impact I’ve had on the community over the years,” White said in a press release. “This honor really means a lot. The people of WACA are exceptional human beings whom I admire very much. And I know that there are many valuable artists in the region.

“With all of the dedicated and amazing members of the community that I know are here at Washougal, I can think of so many more who deserve this honor,” Yang added. “I am both elated and honored by this recognition.”

White, a music performer and teacher for over 30 years, opened the Washougal School of Music in 2016, offering guitar, piano, mandolin, ukulele and bass guitar lessons through one-to-one in-person and virtual lessons. He moved to Ajijic, Mexico with his wife, Kelli Rule, a former WACA board member, earlier this year.

“I’m grateful to the families of the students who have supported us, and the community at large has really embraced the school,” White told the Post-Record in 2021. “This is absolutely No. 1 of my career. J got more success than I imagined. There was a good variety of challenges because everyone has different tastes, and (my students) made me work harder and grow as a musician and as a teacher.

White has also performed at many local events and establishments including the Washougal Senior Center, Washougal Art Festival, Washougal Youth Arts Month, Pirates in the Plaza/Park, and WACA House Concerts.

“I enjoyed the events,” said White, who joined the new City of Washougal Arts Commission in 2019. “(Performing) at the community center, Reflection Plaza, and at the library was really rewarding. We enjoyed the community, the friendly people. You can meet people and be on a first name basis with (pretty much anyone).

White joined the music scene in Ajijic, playing keyboards in a local jazz/pop band, working on a one-man show, hosting rehearsals in his home music studio, and performing with a bluegrass musician, a venture that could transform into a new incarnation of his band, Train River.

“I’ve been a performer much longer than a teacher, more regularly, and I’d love to look back on that,” White told the Post-Record before moving on. “Gigs around Portland have dried up for me, especially (because of) the pandemic, of course, but (Ajijic) has a very lively and thriving music scene. I could be in a cafe playing music several nights a week. I’m looking to get back into it more, and maybe start a few bands. I think I can make it work, especially with the expat community there.

Yang has worked as an educator for the past 17 years, all but seven as an art teacher, and recently earned a master’s degree in art education. She is a Fellow of the Columbia River Arts and Cultural Foundation, Washougal Liaison with the Clark County Arts Commission, and Coordinator of the Parkersville Day Event Student Art Competition, and plays a key role in annual events. from the Washougal School District‘s Washougal Youth Art Month. .

“Last school year, a second-grader asked me with genuine curiosity if I liked my job,” Yang said in the press release. “I said, ‘No. I love my work.’ The young people in our community are a daily source of inspiration for me. By building relationships with my students, I learn what their interests are, which in turn guides my classes. »

Yang said students, regardless of their future profession, can find a safe space to explore ideas, examine and solve problems, learn perseverance skills and develop empathy in the art rooms.

“Art by nature is inspirational,” she said. “My students help me maintain this momentum.”

After earning a degree in architecture from the University of Texas and working for companies in Texas and New York, Yang discovered her passion for education after the birth of her daughter, according to the Clark County website. Arts Commission.

“Art allows us to talk about our values, our fears and our joys,” she said. “Bringing our community together is more important than ever. With growing polarization, climate threats, and a relentless stream of horrific news, we can turn to art to help process these difficult times together. … I want every member of the community to feel important, valued and cared for. This will help us weather any storm that comes our way.


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