Special to the E-T G.K. Lewallen recently established the Ethel Lewallen Memorial Endowed Scholarship at Tarleton State University in memory of his late wife, Ethel. The memorial scholarship will be awarded annually to a student at Tarleton majoring in art.
Ethel was born in New York City in 1925. She married G.K. in 1944, and the couple relocated to G.K.'s home state of Texas.
Before she and G.K. were married, Ethel was a dancer in the Radio City Music Hall and Latin Quarter. Later on in life, she changed her creative outlet to painting, sculpture, and other artistic avenues.
She studied art at Tarrant County Junior College (TCJC), trained in cartooning at the Fort Worth Museum and studied at the New York Arts Students League with other accomplished artists. Ethel later taught art courses at TCJC and Tarleton.
Ethel was appointed twice as the State of Texas Artist of the Year in 1973 and 1988. Her artwork graced the cover of many magazines, including The American Quarter Horse Journal, The American Paint Horse Journal, Independent Cattleman Magazine, The Brayer and many others. During her life, she also participated in many art exhibits and solo exhibits.
For Ethel, her art had a higher purpose. She was once quoted in an interview as saying, “When all else transforms and civilizations crumble, art will survive.”
Ethel passed away in 1988 leaving behind her husband of 44 years, her children, grandchildren, and countless contributions to the art world. Her children are: Cindra Elms of Stephenville, Tula Vassel of Westhampton, NY, and Nolan Lewallen of Mingus, Texas.
“A gift honoring the memory of a loved one is beneficial to both the giver and the receiver,” said Sabra Vickery-Guerra, Tarleton's director of development. “Mr. Lewallen's generous contribution not only pays tribute to his very talented wife, but also provides financial assistance to a deserving Tarleton student.”
The scholarship will be available beginning in the fall of 2008. Qualifying students should contact the Scholarship Office at 254-968-9922 for application deadline information.