Bits ‘n’ Pieces: Portrait of local artist as a young woman



Displaying artwork for the public can summon up a rush of emotions. For student Megan Simms, 18, seeing her artwork in a gallery will be something she’ll treasure as she pursues her dreams of being an artist.

“It’s always going to be special,” she said.

Megan’s first art exhibition was not only an exciting opportunity for a budding artist, but a great way to see what other area high school students were producing. “It was really cool to see the artwork and different styles by high school students like me, and how different they were from my own,” Megan said. “It’s exciting to see where different high school teens are getting their inspiration from.”

The art exhibition titled “Artist Statement” featured artwork from K-12 students in Oregon schools, displayed Dec. 1-4 at the gallery space of Portland’s Pioneer Place. Megan, a senior at St. Mary’s Academy in Portland, submitted a two-tone self-portrait for the show.

“I was really excited to get to show my artwork. Being accepted into a gallery, I was excited and proud of myself. It makes me a lot more confident in my artistic endeavors.”

She’s eager to continue those endeavors. Megan has submitted a portfolio to the local Portland Metro Scholastic Art Awards as well as pieces for an upcoming exhibit of George Fox University’s High School Art Northwest juried art exhibit.

Megan, who lives in Washougal, wants to pursue an art degree in college. She’s eager to learn more about different art media and exploring what art can do.

“I don’t have a specific muse. I prefer drawing things that have meaning,” Megan said. “Things that have significance, not just to me but have meaning to people nationally and in the world.”

— Ashley Swanson

Late Vancouver resident’s wit, wisdom shared in son’s book

Sometimes it takes a lifetime to write a book. At least for Mario Rabinowitz it did. But it was mother Rachel’s lifetime, not his own.

Rabinowitz, who lived in Vancouver from 1943 to 1960, has compiled a book from his mother’s collection of writings. The book, “Rachel, The Little Lady that Could: Her Life, Wisdom, Wit, Poetry, and Singular Insights,” was written “to fulfill her ambition to share her wit, wisdom, insights, and poetry to possibly help the perplexed gain an increased understanding of the meaning of life,” Rabinowitz said.

Rachel Rabinowitz, a native Ukrainian, lived on E Street in Vancouver for more than 40 years until her death in 1986. The book chronicles her reflections and includes remembrances of Vancouver and Clark College.

She attended the college, and tutored professors and students there in Spanish and Russian. She was a longtime friend of Spanish professor Ralph Hanna, for whom Hanna Hall at Clark College is named.

Rabinowitz, 75, of Emerald Hills, Calif., once delivered The Columbian as a paperboy and while attending Fort Vancouver High School, worked as a student sports reporter for the newspaper. In 1950, he won the Vancouver Soap Box Derby and represented Vancouver at the national championship in Akron, Ohio.

The book includes chapters by two longtime Vancouver residents, Lauretta Herman and Dr. Bev Questad.

The e-book is available for $3.99 at and

— Ruth Zschomler

Bits ’n’ Pieces appears Mondays and Fridays. If you have a story you’d like to share, call Ruth Zschomler, 360-735-4530, or email