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Obituaries

Bill Zacha; Founded Mendocino Art Center

March 20, 1998

Bill Zacha, 78, who helped transform the small lumber town of Mendocino into a haven for artists. Zacha, a renowned artist, founded the Mendocino Art Center and was profiled in a 1961 Look magazine story titled "A Young Man Saves a Town." In the article, Zacha recalled his first impression of Mendocino: "It had an unusual, almost unearthly quality about it--pure, quiet, unsullied--but it was dying." Three years ago, he boasted that Mendocino County had the highest number of artists per capita of anywhere in the country. Zacha lured artists to come and teach at the center and many of them stayed, including Dorr Bothwell, Ray and Miriam Rice, Hilda Pertha and Emmy Lou Packer, a printmaker who worked with Diego Rivera. Zacha was known nationally and internationally for his work as an architect, sculptor, painter and printmaker. In Ft. Bragg on Wednesday of unannounced causes.

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