Hillman City Artist Wins Good Neighbor Award

Hillman City Artist Wins Good Neighbor Award

By Amber Campbell

Hillman City artist Amanda Teicher believes that everyone — even a neighborhood — needs a symbolic, positive identity, and she says her neighborhood is in the process of developing one due, in part, to a concentration of creative people.

Teicher recently appeared on KING 5 New Day Northwest where she was lauded with trivago’s Good Neighbor Getaway Award for her ongoing work cutting hair for about 50 homeless people at the Downtown Emergency Service Center (DESC).

“Most of the people have severe mental illnesses or other serious problems, making them among the most vulnerable people in society,” she said.

She also volunteers with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, where she’s a member, as well as at Gage Academy of Art, where she studies traditional drawing and painting.

“I was delighted that my actions, helping vulnerable people, were considered noteworthy,” she said.

Teicher says she’s motivated by her religious beliefs and compassion for disadvantaged people, as well as the desire to get the creative training she wants at an affordable price.

This week, she was kind enough to answer a few questions for GSS’s People in Your Neighborhood column, a space dedicated to highlighting the unsung heroes of the southeast Seattle community.

Amanda 43b crtcName:
Amanda Teicher

Age:
45

Neighborhood:
Hillman City

How long in Seattle’s south-end?
Since August 2013.

Hometown:
Keene, New Hampshire

Day job:
Artist and homemaker

What do you like most about your day job?
I’m the boss. I get to work on challenging creative projects, namely oil paintings.

What gets you out of bed in the morning?
The items on my To Do list that have yet to be written down. I’m usually eager to get going.

What are you passionate about?
Passionate is too strong a word for my personality. I’m pretty earnest about beauty and meaning in art, and about making paintings that will convey something important or interesting. This year I’m focusing on realistic portraiture, which is a big challenge. I’m also interested in doing something for people who need help.

What are your hobbies?
Combing the tangles out of my dog’s fur and teasing my husband.

Tell us about your family:
I’m married to Tom Teicher, who is my second husband. We have no children, but we have a lhasa apso named Dudley. They’re both very cute.

What’s your most favorite thing about the Rainier Valley?
It’s a toss-up between the Columbia branch of the library and Seward Park. At one, I can borrow reading material for free, and at the other, I can enjoy a quiet walk among the trees with my dog.

What’s your least favorite thing about the Rainier Valley?
Crime. Since we moved here, we’ve experienced four incidents: an attempted break-in, a break-in, one of our cars was destroyed by a hit-and-run driver while it was parked in front of our house, and later the replacement car was vandalized. It made me question our decision to move here.

Where is your favorite place to go in the Rainier Valley?
The library and Seward Park. I also like to walk around the neighborhood during good weather.

If you could live anywhere besides the Rainier Valley, where would it be?
I don’t know. That would require exploration, which I don’t have time for.

If there was one thing you could change about the Rainier Valley, what would it be?
It would be safer, and the business district would be more active.

What was the last thing you read?
“The Lord of the Rings” by J.R.R. Tolkien, followed by literary criticism of those three books.

Tell us something about you that not many people know:
When I was younger, I was a newspaper reporter and later an editor. I appreciate both solid facts and beautiful writing.

What is your idea of perfect happiness?
Oh, goodness, I have no idea. I prefer to live a life of meaning, which I’m doing.

What is your greatest fear?
I can’t think of anything. Losing my keys?

What is your greatest regret?
I don’t have many regrets.

What or who is the greatest love of your life?
There have been a few.

What is your current state of mind?
I’m capable of great concentration for long periods of time?, so I’d say pretty neutral, like usual.

What do you consider your greatest achievement?
My next painting.

What is your most treasured possession?
Two things: our house and my studio. Those are physical possessions. Also, my happy, stable marriage and my religious beliefs: those are emotional or spiritual possessions.

What do you most value in your friends?
Honest, thoughtful, kind conversation, which consists of listening, considering, and talking.

Who is your favorite hero of fiction?
Jane Eyre (author: Charlotte Bronte)

What is it that you most dislike?
Confusion. Especially moral confusion.

What else should we know about you?
I believe that anyone who is interested in drawing can learn to draw. It’s not an inborn, mystical ability. It’s a skill that can be taught, and it can be learned.

Photos/Amanda Teicher

 

 

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