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Don Hendricks, a native of Orange County, was a prolific artist and well-loved art teacher at Fullerton College from 1974 until his tragic death in a bicycle accident in 1989. His work, which he exhibited across America and in Europe (including Switzerland, New York, Washington D.C., and Los Angeles) featured elements of Orange County’s landscape and culture-- hot rods, cactus, trains, Mickey Mouse, freeways, bungalows, foothills, and canyons.
As the first Artist-in-Residence in Brea, Hendricks “offered demonstrations in schools, taught free watercolor classes, gave lectures, dedicated studio time, and completed special projects, including "Waterworks," an eight-part video series on basic watercolor techniques, which he wrote and produced. He painted 25 watercolors of Brea during this time, and his was considered a model residency program by the state.”
Of his teaching, former student Kelly Wine said, "He could see things in students as artists and he would guide them and encourage them. His opinion of my artwork was very valuable.” Fellow art teacher Kate Johnson said, "A lot of people came here just to take him. He was a real strong family man. He always had time to talk."
“Life as he lived it was a masterpiece which he worked on humbly, thoughtfully, honestly, and daily. Don was the very best kind of teacher, never proselytizing or dictating, but rather quietly showing the way. I knew him to be an honest man in every sense: honest in his portrayal of life, especially in his most recent paintings. How beautiful they are seen in total-- and yet they include the hidden, the unexpected, and the seemingly unfair broken bits and pieces we find upon closer inspection. He lived the truth-- that we can make the choice to bring goodness into this life.”
—Jeff Horne, friend and fellow artist
"A lot of people came here just to take him. He was a real strong family man. He always had time to talk."
—Fellow art teacher Kate Johnson
Elaine Rubenstein, “Remembering Don Hendricks.” The Elephant Ear. 1989. property of artist’s wife.
Smith, George Bundy. “Teacher Dies After Bike Accident.” The Los Angeles Times. 9 Feb. 1989.
Horne, Jeff. “Don Hendricks: Friend and Fellow Artist.” A Box of Paint.
“Remembering Don Hendricks” Elaine Rubenstein. The Elephant Ear. 1989. featured on A Box of Paint: