Bill Bruce

Born and raised in a small town in Iowa in the early 30’s, I joined the Navy in 1951 for a 4 year tour of duty. After I was discharged from the Navy, I settled in San Francsico. Having completed 2 years of Jr College back in Iowa, I continued with my education at San Francisco State for another year, majoring in liberal arts. Part time jobs and the GI Bill gave me the chance to enjoy the “Beatnik Revolution” expanding my interest in the arts and freedom of thought. Life was good but for some unknown reason I had the urge to revisit my midwestern roots, so I moved to Chicago. Two years were enough, and I returned to San Fancisco. I found myself living in the Haight Ashbury and soon began to pursue my painting seriously. I became part of a small group of artists who called ourselves the “Artist’s Consortium.”
We exhibited in small store fronts and Golden Gate Park. What could be better then this…art, friends, and enjoying the “Haight” in the early 60’s? I had my first one person exhibit in 1966 in the Lucien LeBault Gallery in San Francisco. In the midst of all of this, I met my wife , Mercedes, through a blind date set up by another artist, and another friend who wrote science fiction stories (being published in pulp magazines common in the 50’s and 60’s.) Our first date was the Nut Cracker Suite at the San Francisco Memorial Auditorum in December of 1960. I sold a pint of blood for $20 the day before to help cover expenses. We were married the next year. We moved to Fresno in 1966. Two children, a dog, and a truck load of art.

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