Vivian Westerman is 60 years old and worked as a Portrait Artist/Cartoonist on Jackson Square, the French Quarter, in New Orleans, Louisiana for 10 years. 2003 update: Councilperson Jackie Clarkson has created an “Artist Zone” on Jackson Square, which was endorsed unanimously by the City Council of the City of New Orleans. A Federal Judge rules that such Artist Zone excluding Tarot Card Readers is unconstitutional, and the case goes to Court in February, 2004. I returned to working on Jackson Square in September; it was so beautiful, peaceful and inspirational working amongst the artists; but now Jackson Square is once again crawling with the Tarot Card cockroaches. The ambience is gone. The beauty is gone. The joy of going to work is gone.
My work experience began with insurance in Dallas, Texas, and then onto New York City as a stewardess for American Airlines. My main interest has always been politics, and I worked for the Rockefeller Presidential Campaign in NYC in 1964 (read my story at 1964 – Rockefeller Presidential Campaign); for CBS Network News; and then onto Washington, D.C. to the 1968 Humphrey Presidential Campaign (read my story at 1968 – Where were you? Humphrey Presidential Campaign). The era was the Vietnam War.
I have worked for major political figures, and as a legal secretary part-time for 10 of the 20th largest law firms in the country. In 1977 while living in Washington, D.C., I pursued and received a grant from the Fund for Investigative Journalism and wrote a series of articles on the practices of the National Zoo and the Smithsonian Institution (read my story at 1977 – National Zoo).
My interest in science was heightened by meeting some very interesting nuclear scientists who worked at Argonne National Laboratory (see: http://www.anl.gov), outside of Chicago, Illinois. I tried to understand science secrets in 1979 (see my story at 1979 – Of Art, the Ayatollah, Oil, Mellon & Fusion).