Gena Lasko

‘Ghost’ writer for the West of Lincoln Project 

Gena pic cropped

I grew mostly in Davis with weekends in Carmichael, California, jumping horses and singing in Madrigals. I am also the niece of the beloved retired Franklin School (Santa Monica) teacher Dorothy Thatcher, and have been coming down to visit her at her South Side Santa Monica beach house my entire life.

I moved to Santa Monica almost immediately after high school. Finding that I generally didn’t fit in at UCLA where I attended college, I spent most of my time at the beaches of Santa Monica and Venice. After college that included a brief stint in Lake Tahoe to study music, I abandoned a future in Sociology and carried a very large backpack around the world for most of a year.

Returning with a new direction, I returned to the beach and studied sound engineering. Not successful at job hunting, I moved back north, did a bit of singing, and went back to school studying photography, ceramics and biology. I finally got a ‘real’ job with Fish and Game when I was about 42, and finished a Master’s degree in fish biology.

Currently I live at the base of the hills of the Sierras so I can catch those powdery turns at Squaw Valley, and still work for Fish and Game (now the Department of Fish and Wildlife). I have an amazing teenage daughter and I still don’t totally fit in, so head home to Dogtown to visit Dorothy and my amazing group of beach friends whenever I can. Ruth moved up this way and we have become great friends. I found her project so salient and near to my heart that I asked to be a part of it.

I am incredibly grateful for Gena who has given much of her time for free to accomplish the undertaking of going through many hours of audio recordings to get the biographies completed as well as edit countless material needed for this project – R


Reception, Saturday, August 5, 4 – 8 pm @ Venice Arts
13445 Beach Avenue • Venice, California 90292
Tel 310.392.0846

The West of Lincoln Project is an exhibition of biographical paintings, audio interviews, written biographies, and a tribute wall as part of an examination of Venice, CA through the eyes of people have a connection with this city.  Born and raised in Venice herself, Ruth presents an authentic and intimate view of the Venice community.

About the Author Ruth Chase

Ruth Chase is primarily a project based artist whose award winning series, West of Lincoln Project, probed into the lives of individuals who grew up in Venice, CA. She is a California-based painter that uses biographical portraiture to communicate stories of compassion, and valuable insight that promotes positive social change. Her work includes the use of social media in her creative process to stimulate conversation around human value, as well as engaging the public to actively participate in the final outcome of her work.