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Artists guild, Oswego Springs team up for art exhibit

Public invited to March 19 open house


by: COURTESY OF LAISHA KNEUVEN - CREATIVE COLLABORATION - New King City Artists Guild member Ken Quinlan Pierce chats with Oswego Springs residents Joan McMahon (left) and Kim Steel (right) along with their art teacher Jeannette McCready at a recent get-together of the two groups at the King City Clubhouse.Nothing fuels creativity like interacting with other creative souls, and the boundaries of city limits should not be a hindrance to artists wanting to learn from each other.

Thus a partnership between King City Artists Guild members and Oswego Springs Assisted-Living residents was born and is flourishing.

Oswego Springs residents have made a visit to one of the King City Artists Guild's weekly meetings, and the King City artists will have an upcoming show at Oswego Springs, thanks to the collaboration of Laisha Kneuven, public relations coordinator for Oswego Springs, and Diane Tyhurst, president of the artists guild.

The partnership started with a simple act of volunteering: Last fall Laisha started volunteering to check people's blood pressure and glucose levels at the King City Monthly Musicals.

"I saw all the art on the walls of the Clubhouse and asked Debra (Racoma-O'Connor) who did it, and she told me about the artists guild, and I talked to Diane," Laisha said. "At Oswego Springs, we have wonderful resident artists, and every year we do an exhibit featuring our residents' art plus that of Portland artists. I asked myself what I could to make my residents feel more connected with their community and asked Diane if her group would be interested in participating in our annual show."

Diane added, "Then we came up with the idea of the artists meeting each other, and we put it on our calendar. Oswego Springs filled its bus with residents to come to King City on Jan. 17, and we provided food and drink."

More importantly, the Oswego Springs artists got to see the works in progress being done by the King City artists, and they all loved exchanging ideas and tips.

"Everyone was so excited to get together, and all the artists introduced themselves and showed their current artwork and shared their stories and what it meant to show their work," Diane said. "I feel everyone there had a sense of celebration - it was a rewarding experience for both groups and validated their efforts."

by: BARBARA SHERMAN - MAKING PLANS - Oswego Springs's public relations coordinator Laisha Kneuven (left) and King City Artists Guild President Diane Tyhurst make plans for the open house that will showcase the artwork of the two groups of artists.As for the future collaboration, the combined artists' artwork will be on exhibit for two weeks beginning March 5 through the open house date of March 19.

The open house, which includes the Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce, will run from 4 to 6 p.m. and include wine, hors d'oeuvres and door prizes.

"And it's wonderful for our people to get out and show their work at new places," Diane said. "We will have at least 15 artists there out of our 22 members. Everybody's got a different style."

According to Laisha, the walls in the dining room and entryway will be available for hanging the art the week before the exhibit opens.

She added, "A wonderful artist named Jeanette McCready has come in every week for over a year to teach art - she just volunteers her time. She started with four students and is now up to 12 - about five of her students have just taken off."

Ironically, as a side note, as all this was going on, Laisha moved to King City in December, noting, "It has been a real treat."

An artist herself, she works in acrylic and is looking forward to having more time to join the guild.

"This way I'm getting to know my community," said Laisha, who previously was a caregiver and worked in hospice. "Everyone had been so friendly. I think the neighborhood spirit here is wonderful - people care about each other and depend on their neighbors."

Oswego Springs is located at 11552 S.W. Lesser Road, Portland 97219.

For more information, call 503-542-4747 or visit www.Emeritus.com.