Eunice Jensen Parsons Biography

Eunice Jensen Parsons




Eunice Lulu Parsons, painter, printmaker, tilemaker, collagist, and teacher, was born to Brainard and Florence Parsons on 4 August 1916 in Loma, Colorado. Her family lived briefly in Montana before moving to Chicago, Illinois where she attended children’s art classes at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Between the years 1934 and 1935, Parsons was enrolled in art classes at the University of Chicago. She married Allen Herbert Jensen in 1936 and moved to Portland, Oregon by 1940. From 1950 to 1954, she studied at the Portland Museum Art School under Jack McLarty and William Givier. In 1957 she took a bus to the East Coast to study the culture of modern art. Her sketchbooks from that trip demonstrate her early inclinations in “color, line, and shading, all developing into a unique and distinctive style.”

Parsons joined the faculty of the Portland Museum Art School as a painting instructor, where she was known as a "blunt but brilliant" teacher. She also taught printmaking and composition between 1957 and 1979. Her career has also included teaching classes at Portland State University. Parsons received an honorary master of fine arts from the Pacific Northwest College of Arts in 2001.

Parsons was a co-founder of the 12x16 Gallery in southeast Portland, a cooperative which exhibited artists' work between 2006 and 2017. Through the years she has been a teacher, a painter, a printmaker and a tilemaker, but since the early 1970s Parsons has worked in the medium for which she is best known—collage.


Parsons’ artwork is in the permanent collections of the Hallie Ford Museum of Art at Willamette University; the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon; the Portland Art Museum and the Portland Community College Art Collection.