Lis De MarcoDecember 12, 1951 ~ February 26, 2017 (age 65)
Lis DeMarco, 65 Dec. 12, 1951 to Feb. 26, 2017.
Lis Demarco (born Lis Conny Pearl Hansen), was born in Copenhagen, Denmark to David and Lily Hansen. She was the third of eight children. Lis and her parents immigrated to the United States when she was eight years old, initially settling in Salt Lake City, UT. Shortly after that, her family moved to Portland, OR, where she remained until her passing.
A brief family history:
Lis met her future husband Carlo on a blind date, after years of dating, they were married on December 2nd, 1972. A few short years later, their first child Bobby was born, and a few years after that, they welcomed their second son, Christopher. Lis is survived by her husband Carlo, her sons Bobby and Chris, and her grandchildren Giovanni and Giuliana. Additionally, Lis was set to be a grandmother again to a baby girl. She is also survived by her brothers Jan, Kim, John and her sister Ulla.
An amazing career:
Lis attended Cleveland High School in Portland, OR. She almost did not graduate as a result of a challenging home situation. After completing high school, she moved to Eugene and attended art school at the University of Oregon while Carlo finished his degree. She held several jobs until she and Carlo moved back to Portland. She made her desires clear to Carlo, and while dating, he asked her what she wanted to be when she grew up. When she told him, “an Artist,” she was met with a pause and then laughter! Well, she was the one who got the last laugh. Upon moving back to Portland, she was accepted to Museum Art School where she attended for a short while. Following that, she collected her and Carlo’s life savings of $750, then proceeded to open up her own graphic design business. Several years later she forged a partnership with Aaron Jones and created the Aaron Jones & Lis DeMarco firm. The two of them made waves both locally and nationally, delivering amazing advertising campaigns for companies like Soloflex, The Alaska Seafood Commission, Nike, Columbia Sportswear and others. Several years later, Lis went back into business herself, where she garnered national and international recognition. She was an innovator and an amazing talent! She leveraged her relationships and forged a strong partnership with a local photographer, Jerry LaRocca. Together they brought their talents to deliver amazing innovation in graphic design and advertising. Lis put together a brilliant campaign introducing local radio personality Craig Walker to his new radio station K103. Lis was also involved with local radio stations K103, Z100 and 1190 KEX, doing loads of work promoting both the stations and the Portland Trailblazers. Her innovation was exemplified through her use of light rail (one of the first in the nation) and through use of materials to allow the advertising to cut across the windows of the busses and light rail. Beyond the local campaigns, she did work for Fujitsu based out of Japan, Weyerhauser and even Toyota. Both resulted in some crazy travel stories from flying across the US in a private jet, to the swamps of Louisiana! Her last hurrah from a work perspective was her stint as an adjunct professor at Portland State University. She had a passion for teaching and inspiring students. After an illustrious career, Lis got back to her true passion, fine art!
Despite the fact that Lis barely graduated high school, she was probably one of the most well read and intelligent individuals you would ever meet. All of her research into origins of life, the universe, art history, science and religion, culminated in her work. Some artists excel or focus on one medium, but not Lis. She was prolific in many, from pastels, to oil, to water color, colored pencils and even exploration with new materials. Her intellect and style combined, resulting in some absolutely amazing pieces like her rendition of the Mona Lisa, combining art, science, math and religion, delivered through an amazing medium of colored pencil on black paper. The artwork popped and this style culminated in a wide array of pieces ranging from flowers and other stills to some more wide ranging topics, like American Plastic, a rendition of American Gothic with Ken and Barbie in place of the farmer and his daughter. It showcases the shallowness of society and keeping up with the Jones’. She also incorporated the music she listened to with her piece inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night and Don McLean. Her experimentation continued into abstract artwork with watercolors and metallic powders. The organic nature of her artwork showcased her raw talent and creativity. Lis had two art expositions, where she successfully showcased her skills. Folks were awe-inspired by the impact and power of her work. She also participated in the Kows for Kids charity by artfully creating a flying cow. Lis also initiated her work on a children’s book, Alula, which was left unfinished. Her artwork lives on and will be a constant reminder of her genius and zest for life.
In loving memory!
“A man of genius makes no mistakes; his errors are volitional and are the portals of discovery.”
- James Joyce
“A vision difficult to verbalize,
I turn to music and mathematics to describe something of what I’m after.
Something where musical and mathematical form,
blend and ignite.”
- Lis DeMarco
Alzheimer's Association Oregon Chapter