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Artists’ Colony Founder Mourned

March 4, 2005

THE death of Bill White Feb. 25 dealta blow to the art community he soenthusiastically supported and to whichhe dedicated the last years of his life. Hewas 78.He is survived by a sister and hisfriends at the Julia and David White Artists’Colony in Ciudad Colón, west of San José.A memorial service will be held at thecolony tomorrow, March 5, at 2 p.m.White was an idealist whose vision offostering the potential of artists fromaround the globe has benefited more than200 writers, musicians and painters.He founded the Julia and David WhiteArtists’ Colony, in themountains of CiudadColón, to honor his twochildren who diedyoung.“HE was anincredible visionarywho turned around thedeath of his children tosomething positive thatpeople have responded to from around theworld,” said Royce Slape, his confidant andone of the two men White left to handle theaffairs of the colony.Since it opened in 1998, the colony hasbeen home to an impressive variety ofartists who have used their time there tofocus on their work.White’s commitment to the arts leadhim often to the National Theater in SanJosé, where he kept season tickets for balconyseats to listen to the country’sNational Symphony Orchestra.He had a passion not just for the arts butalso for the artists, Slape said.“HE loved having anywhere from fourto seven people here every month from allaround the world. Even in the end the thingthat we could talk about that brought him somuch comfort was how the artists weredoing and how much the place meant tothem, how they were able to accomplish inone month or two more than they were ableto in their lives back home.”White had a psychotherapy practice inLos Angeles, California, for decades beforecoming to Costa Rica, and also owned atrendy restaurant there called the NineMuses. The restaurant was his creative outlet,attracting some of the big names thathover around Los Angeles.Slape and thecolony’s administrator,FranciscoSánchez, are compilingthe storiesWhite told, oftenabout the personalitieswho sat at histables, as narratedby former guests ofthe colony.WHITE left a dream in the hands ofthose who share his vision: to carve a paththrough Costa Rica from coast to coast linedwith artistic commemorations to peace.The path for peace, now just an ideaand a Web site, would also be a monumentof sorts to history’s conscientious objectorswho refused to fight in wars.Information on the progress of the idea isavailable at www.pathforpeace.org.At a time when monuments to thingspositive, peaceful and creative are greatlyneeded, White’s personality and contributionshave left a legacy of benevolence andcommitment to talent and beauty, friendssaid.As was his wish, the colony, which hasbeen a solid program for seven years, willcontinue in the spirit he intended.All are invited to the remembrancegathering tomorrow and are welcome bringa dish to share. For information call249-1414, or see the Web site www.forjuliaanddavid.org.–Belle Anne Butler

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