The last of five children, born in 1939, to missionary parents in Shandong Province, northern China. Left China in 1941 for the Philipines to avoid the Japanese. Left the Philipines six months later to again avoid the Japanese. Spent the duration of the Second World War in Johnstown, Pennsylvania. Returned to Tsingtao, China with parents in 1947. Left China in 1949 to avoid the Communists.
Traveled around for a while, finally settling in Medford, Oregon, where my father became pastor of the First Presbyterian Church. Survived junior high and high school where my fifteen minutes of career counseling advised me to take up body/ fender work. Hummm..
Bounced between a couple of college programs before making a six month run for it to Europe. Wandered around with no real plan other than what I learned from staying in youth hostels. Began to recognize stuff I had seen in the National Geographic. I felt this was the real start of my education.
Returned to the University of Oregon and became a sculpture major switching in a year to become a jewelry major under the protective shield of Max Nixon who really did make jewelry, unlike myself.
Moved to Mt. Angel College to be artist in residence. Taught part time and did construction work with my artist friends to stay alive. Lived in a tree house for two years. Taught one year in Philadelphia at Moore College of Art where I had a great deal of fun, but missed the mountains and Oregon. As always, I made sculpture.
Moved to Portland, having received an Art Advocate Fellowship in 1970, to become artist in residence at Lewis and Clark College. In 1972, began occasional teaching duties at the college where I made sculpture and taught part time. Retired from Lewis and Clark 34 years later.
In 1978, I had the good fortune to marry Sally. We live in Portland with two cats and a big garden where we keep a lot of Bruce West sculptures.
Footnote: In between and during these times there have been numerous and memorable adventures: hiking, biking, rafting, climbing, skiing, and travel to exotic places to hike, bike, raft…..all of which, and including the before mentioned, have some influence on the shape and form of my work.