Eileen R. Tabios is a poet working in multiple genres and in-between. She also loves books by writing, reading, publishing, critiquing, romancing and advocating for them. This blog will feature her bibliophilic activities with posts on current book engagements and links to her books and projects related to books.

Thursday, September 21, 2017


About 16 years ago, I met an artist Michelle O'Connor during the first time I attended San Francisco's OPEN STUDIOS tour. At 23 years of age, she was the most promising artist I discovered that day. I wrote about her in a now-defunct arts publication (click on images below to enlarge). I am reminded of her as her brother contacted me as their family wanted to set up a website for Michelle's work. You see, at just 23 years of age, Michelle was struck down by a vehicle (a truck, I think) as she rode her bicycle. So much promise lost. Such a young life to pass.

Anyway, Michelle's brother also sent me something I'd written on Michelle -- and as I read it now, 16/17 years later, I realize that this may be the most important and significant "art writing" I've ever done--a judgment I make because I can just imagine how my words may have helped make Michelle's family know just how worthwhile was Michelle's life despite lasting only 23 years. In art, which was her love, she accomplished something ... and if my words helped emphasize that to her relatives, important perhaps because they lived elsewhere from San Francisco where Michelle studied and practiced her art, I am blessed to be of service. I won't say more. I'll just say that I am proud of this work:

(click on images to enlarge)

What is also hilarious about the above story regarding Michelle's "bio" is that, notwithstanding how she deflected my request with Staples, she actually called her father after I made my request and announced, "Okay, Dad, we need to write my artist biography tonight!" Hugs to you, Michelle! R.I.P. We still live with and continue to love your paintings!  Here they are -- poor reproductions but perhaps the viewer will get the drift...

1 comment:

  1. Beautiful work. I went to Bloomfield High and was in CAPSS with Michelle and considered her my creative friend who understood me. Glad her work lives on.....Niya Thomas Beach