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Phyllis Yes photo

Phyllis Yes

Date of Birth


Birth Place

Red Wing, Minnesota

Primary Residence

Portland, Oregon

Area(s) of Achievement

Activism, Arts, Community Building, Education, Leadership, Professional




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Phyllis A. Yes

An amputation as an infant did not stop this woman in accomplishing her goals. “Use what you have and do not dwell on what you don’t have,” she told an audience at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota.

In the 1960s she served in the Peace Corp in Northeast Brazil. Her compassion for the poor and disadvantaged has been evident all of her life. Dr. Yes donated hundreds of paintings to various charity auctions and fundraisers over the years. Her interest in building and enhancing the community, wherever she lives, is strong.

Beginning in the early 1970s Phyllis Yes was a champion for women’s equality. Her slide lectures and her keynote addresses using her own artwork utilized humor and fact to enlighten and encourage women to stand up for what she called “simple justice.”

In the 1980s Dr. Yes was awarded Distinguished Alumni Awards from Luther College; Decorah, Iowa; and from Austin Community College in Austin, Minnesota. A strong proponent of higher education, Phyllis put herself through college by painting portraits.

Dr. Yes taught second grade and high school art classes in Columbia Heights, Minnesota earning many honors for innovation. In Oregon, Dr. Yes taught painting, drawing, printmaking, and weaving at Western Oregon University and painting and drawing at Oregon State University.  For her many accomplishments in the field of art education, she received an award for outstanding contributions to art education from the Oregon Art Education Association in 1995.

Yes’s artistic media range included painted canvas, film, furniture, clothing, jewelry, and a lace-covered Porsche. Her work has been featured on Public Broadcasting TV, ASAHI National Network in Japan, ABC’s Faces and Places, KGW-TV’s PM Magazine, and numerous national and international publications including the Wall Street Journal, Glamour, the L.A. Times, the San Francisco Examiner, the Chicago Tribune, the Seattle Post Intelligencer, the Oregonian, International Art Review, Santa Fe New Mexican, and others.

Dr. Yes (a name chosen by the artist in 1978 when she earned a doctorate at the University of Oregon) has traveled to Bali and New Guinea on a National Endowment for the Arts Grant to study gender related art forms. She was a full professor of art at Lewis and Clark College for twenty-seven years in Portland, Oregon. She served the college as Dean of Humanities and Chair of the Art Department. She has received numerous awards, among them the Oregon Arts Commission Fellowship, Oregon State University Foundation Grants, Barbara Deming Foundation Grant, and has won many national competitions. She is listed in the World’s Who’s Who of Women, in Who’s Who in American Art and Who’s Who in the West.

Collections include: Microsoft Fine Arts Collection, Seattle; Pacific National Bank, Los Angeles; Levi-Strauss, San Francisco; National Pectin Company, Chicago; Lutheran Brotherhood Insurance Company, Minneapolis; Portland Art Museum; University of Washington Medical Center; Seattle Museum of Art; University of Oregon, Eugene; and Portland State University, Portland.

Dr. Yes has had more than one hundred and seventy-five exhibitions including the Nishiazabu Asacloth, Tokyo, Japan; Northwest Biennial, Brooklyn Museum, Brooklyn, New York; Bernice Steinbaum Gallery in New York City; First Museum in Greenwich, Connecticut; Bellevue Art Museum in Seattle; Herron School of Art in Indianapolis; Tweed Museum in Plainfield, New Jersey; Virginia Breier Gallery in San Francisco; Boca Raton Center for the Arts in Boca Raton, Florida; Lisa Harris Gallery in Seattle; and others.

Susan Sokol Blosser

Honored By

Susan Sokol Blosser Sokol Blosser Winery