Fiberglass portrait of Alice Weir.
The work of Ludington artist Donald Weir is featured this month in West Shore Community College’s Manierre Dawson Gallery.
Born Sept. 27, 1918, in New Brunswick, New Jersey, Donald’s mother always said to him that, “On the day you were born, there was a parade!” The men were returning from WWI that year. At the age of three, his family moved to Toledo, where he grew up.
His father, Samuel Weir, explored northeast Africa as an archeologist until the war began. He was also a chemist. Family life in Toledo included entertaining friends with food, music and dancing.
A favorite destination for Donald was the Toledo Museum of Art, where an avid interest in art developed. Eventually, he attended the American Academy in Chicago to study drawing and design on the GI bill.
World War II took Donald to the Caribbean and the North Atlantic in the Merchant Marines. He worked in freight and also as a gunner. After the war, Don sold print advertising in Chicago.
A visit to Ludington turned into a move as he secured a job on the car ferries. He met a local girl, Alice Robertson, and married her in 1952. She taught at Lakeview School and passed away in 2009.
Summer breaks from school included travel to Paris or Scotland. Retiring after 35 years, the couple began to travel everywhere to see art. At 96, he is still a Ludington resident and loves the area.
During his life, Don kept himself busy not only with his art—drawing, portraiture, sculpture, and fabrication; but, also with research into a variety of subject matter.
His local murals may be seen at the Grand Hotel on Rath Avenue, A Bird’s Eye View of the Ludington Harbor, and at the Ludington District Library, a depiction of local laborers painted for the UAW Union Hall.
The WSCC art faculty round out the rest of the December exhibit with works in a variety of media.
Exhibiting faculty are Michele Anscombe, Schyler Binkley, Cheri Petri, Kat Goffnet and Rebecca Mott. These works will be on display through December 17.
The exhibit for January and February will focus on the multi-media work of Manistee resident and former Manistee High School art teacher, Ken Cooper.
The Gallery is located in WSCC’s Arts and Sciences Center. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. - 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday and Friday from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Author: Thomas Hawley | Executive Director of College Communications & Community Engagement