Biographical / Historical
LaVern Frank-Rush (b. 1918) worked at the WPA Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa, from its opening in 1938 until 1941, first as a volunter and then as an employee. During this time, she compiled two scrapbooks about the Art Center; circa 2007, she wrote a memoir that focused on the Art Center.
After finishing junior high school, La Vern Frank-Rush won a contest that enabled her to attend free summer art classes at the Sioux City Public Library. The instructor, Roy Langley, had a lasting influence on the aspiring artist.
The WPA Art Center in Sioux City, Iowa, offered free exhibits, lectures, and art classes to a community which otherwise would not have had such opportunities. The Art Center organized plays, marionette shows, and exhibitions. It also provided classed in ceramics, puppetry, and watercolor painting. The weekly schedule included 32 different offerings and hundreds of children and adults were enrolled. Performances were always well received and record crowds gathered to view the exhibits.
Soon after it opened in 1938, Frank-Rush started working as a volunteer at the WPA Art Center and began compiling a scrapbook about Art Center activities. She studied painting and printmaking withthe various artists who taught there. After she became an employee, Frank-Rush served as an instructor, art teacher, and librarian until 1942.
LaVern Frank and George Rush, who also worked at the Art Center, married in 1943. Three days after their marriage, Rush was assigned to the Engineer Corps at Fort Belvoir, Virginia. Frank-Rush served in the Civil Service War Department in Washington, DC, but soon was able to transfer to Fort Belvoir. In 1953 the couple moved to Lincoln, Nebraska, where she taught art at the University of Nebraska from 1956 through 1966. Frank-Rush, who was certified to teach care and raising of houseplants, helped organize the Nebraska Herbal Society, and presented hebal and plant demonstrations at South East Community College in Lincoln. Since retiring in 1980, she has lived quietly in Oregon.