Welcome to SweetwaterNOW’s series, #WHYoming.
We are highlighting people from around our communities and asking them a few questions. We want to learn a little about them and see why they chose this great state to raise their families, start their businesses, or simply to ask — Why Wyoming?
This week I sat down with Florence McEwin. Florence has influenced many Western Wyoming Community College students over the years as an art teacher. She is also an artist with several pieces that have been shown internationally and a transplant to Wyoming.
Florence, how did you end up in Green River?
I grew up north of Boston near the ocean. I graduated from high school and college earlier than most. My father got me a job in Boston as a teacher in the Italian neighborhood. I didn’t want it, but I took it. At the time, I married someone from Wyoming and then we moved out here.
What is something unique about you?
I am both a printmaker and a painter. I don’t let a day go by without creating something. I’ve shown my work all over the world.
Always dare to do something.”
– Florence McEwin
The prints in this article are from Florence’s Red Riding Hood Series. These pieces helped her win the 2017 state fellowship and will be shown in Casper in the fall at the Nicolaysen Art Museum. One of the pieces also received an award at Arkansas State University, Bradbury Art Museum this past January.
“Why Didn’t You Fix the Plumbing when I Asked” by Florence McEwin.
What do you appreciate most about our community?
Moving to a new community is hard but the people were and have been wonderful here. I have always felt welcome. When I arrived several years ago, there was an older established community which helped me feel connected to the area.
If you could give one brief piece of advice, what would it be?
Always treat people as you would want to be treated. And, always dare to do something. A student of mine returned to visit me a few years after she graduated. She told me she basically took troubled kids into the wilderness for a few weeks at a time, something I didn’t see her doing while she was my student. When I asked her why, she said, “Because you taught me I should dare to do something.”
Where is your favorite place to hang out in Sweetwater County?
Almost any place outdoors. I like rocks along with several of our other beautiful, surrounding landscape features.
“Midlife Crisis” by Florence McEwin.
Would you rather walk, ride a bike, take a horse or drive a car?
Well, the great thing about a horse is it knows the way home, all you have to do is get on. Honestly, though, with everything I am involved in, my time is precious and I need to get around faster so probably a car.
What would you sing at karaoke night?
I would sing one of Madeleine Peyroux’s songs.
How would your friends describe you?
Loyal and humorous in my own way. I think you need to find humor in everything.
What is your proudest accomplishment?
My daughter. Career wise, I won the 2017 state fellowship. I also won a national award out of New Jersey for my paintings, which are very large scale and harder to move around and show.
“I’m Still Not Fixing Dinner” by Florence McEwin.
Who would you want to play you in a movie about your life?
Salma Hayek or a South American actress.
Why do you continue to live in Wyoming?
I’ve always loved Wyoming. I would have moved but I fell in love with Wyoming. I love the land, the Gorge, and the area. I could not live a place that didn’t have some inner beauty.
If you’d like us to interview yourself or someone you know for #WHYoming, please send us suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org