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Eda Kavin, Chinese Painter

Artist Resumé


“If a teacher is lucky, a student like Eda comes along once in a generation.  If a person is lucky, they will know someone like Eda once in their lifetime.  Usually, great art speaks for itself, yet Eda's art also drew people to her.  How could she come into my City College class at 75 years old with no background in Chinese brush painting, pick up an oriental brush for the first time and release such beauty? For a decade my students were inspired to visit her, to enjoy her art works, and ask her curiously. Her success in Chinese art brings the confidence to all of us that it is never too late to learn this special art of diligence.”

- Ming Ren, Professor


1989-2002 Chinese Brush Painting Classes with Ming Ren; First at City College, and then in weekly private lessons.

Eda studied only with Ming Ren.  Her paintings follow the City College courses; each course calling for increased expression; Landscapes, Fish, Birds, Animals, and finally Human Figures.


Endeavors of Note:


Draftsperson at San Francisco City Planning Department – 27 years

She worked on the City's Master Plan, and as a calligrapher she created many of their proclamations.  She designed San Francisco's 1st street parking permits.


Book Binder & Calligrapher, San Francisco – Approx. 20 years.

She bound Henry Miller's Tropic of Cancer (deemed obscene in the US), and also his ground-breaking Into the Night Life; which included many complicated (and explicit) illustrated pages on varied papers by Israeli artist Bezalel Schatz.

She won binding prizes, and also created many hand-written books in calligraphy.

She admired and appreciated SF's Grabhorn press, and bound several of their works.



House designer/builder, San Francisco – 1957

She designed and built her own home on 19th St. from a vacant lot.  In order to save money, she made her own plans, dug out her own basement, and each night she sharpened/organized tools for the builders.


Volunteer Usher at San Francisco Opera – 25 years

She saw almost every symphony, opera, and ballet performance in San Francisco starting in 1964.  She ushered for multiple series, and that led to not only a rich and deep appreciation of our City's fine arts, but also a strong aversion to Nutcracker Ballets.


Lowell High School – Class of 1933

Straight A's and perfect attendance.