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Maria Henle…Memoir of a Crucian Artist

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Dear Source:
At last I've found news about my life-long friend's passing. I am saddened to hear of the loss of an old friend who has contributed so much, like her father, Fritz Henle, to the beauty and culture of the Virgin Islands.
Maria Henle–one of my first friends… we attended St. Dunstan's School (elementary), which began as St. John's in the old school yard of the Anglican Church on King St. in Christiansted. I remember that she always had little drawings on her school notes. She loved to express herself in art and, even though she was always a happy person, she was most happy expressing herself through her art.
She is a realist. What she expresses is brought to life on canvas. You can almost hear the waves in some of her paintings splashing ashore. She is a phenomenal artist…I speak in the present tense now because she will continue to live through our vision of her work.
She recently sent me a picture her Dad, Fritz, had taken of me and some classmates from a play in kindergarten or first grade. When I last saw her at her gallery she promised me she'd find the picture for me, which was in storage in the archives of Fritz' work, being held at the University of Texas, Austin. She followed through with that promise and I will cherish the photo as a memoir of Maria and her Dad, Fritz.
Thank you for your friendship, Maria.

Yolanda Woodson-Dowdell
Coppell, Texas/St. Croix

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