Kenyan Quilters and Benedictine Sisters, Going Virtual

Two not-for-profit organizations close to my heart have moved into virtual spaces during the pandemic. Social distancing is easy there but the “appeal” can be harder, so I encourage you to do what you can to support these vital communities whose work brings beauty and value to us all. Thank you.

Quilts for Empowerment, which my friend Mary Ann McCammon started almost 10 years ago to work with at-risk women and girls in Kenya, will have its annual fundraising benefit “live” via Zoom on October 17 from 2-3pm. The traditionally popular silent auction will start online on October 10 and conclude right after the benefit. (I’ll have some watercolors in the auction!) All the details are at www.quiltsforempowerment.org, along with QFE’s history, mission and accomplishments.

Aside from the vital funds raised once a year at the benefit, QFE has traditionally obtained half its operating funds from quilt shows, bazaars and so forth that happen all year round. Obviously, those venues are gone, for now! But there’s Etsy, where QFE now has a store. Please come browse and buy: www.etsy.com/shop/quiltsforempowerment.

My dear Sister-friends at the Queen of Angels Monastery in Mount Angel are now offering many of their previously scheduled in-person retreats, spiritual direction opportunities and other programs via online platforms. I can attest to how well this works! And though the Monastery buildings are closed to the public, the peaceful and spirit-soothing grounds (including the labyrinth!) are open for walking. (Just bring a mask in case you met up with a Sister.) Please visit www.benedictine-srs.org for information, including how to access the Sisters’ very enticing gift shop.

Most of October will be virtually devoted to the annual “founders’ day” festivities, traditionally a large source of funding support for all of the Monastery’s needs, especially those of the retired Sisters. Kick-off will take place via video on October 4 and you can attend “dinner” on October 25. All details will be on the website.

Please Visit My Friend’s Magical Website!

My friend Heather Andrews recently designed and unveiled THE most magical website ever — “EntoWhimsy”, found at www.heatherandrewsbugs.com. Please take long look. You will be charmed and delighted. And you will learn a lot!

Heather is an entomologist and a jewelry maker and an artist and a musician and a web designer and a gardener and a super friend. She writes beautifully about how her love of nature has inspired her to follow a uniquely intertwined path in life — professionally in the world of science and personally in the world of artistic expression. She writes beautifully about nature, period.

And for these especially trying times, Heather offers a prescription of sorts — spend time outdoors, as she does. She writes: “I strongly encourage you to do the same, go out and find a beautiful, pristine place, and focus on deeply inhaling the clear air, listening to the birds and insects (or perhaps complete silence), and filling your eyes with the incredible sights.”

You may remember Heather as one of the artists in my Aurora art gallery that I closed at the end of 2018. “EntoWhimsy” is also the name of Heather’s Etsy page, where she now sells her work.

Showing the Colors #1 — “Oregon Flag” (State Motto: She Flies with Her Own Wings)

According to idioms.thefreedictionary.com, “showing one’s colors” means “to reveal what one truly believes, thinks or wants; to act in accordance with one’s real personality, character or disposition”. The phrase originated in the 1700s, when sailing ships began flying their national flags, an especially important identifier in times of battle. I am aware that the phrase has been co-opted by some who use it to express their negative anti-social beliefs, thoughts or desires — especially in the realm of race relations — with the whining justification, “But this is what I really believe (or think or want)!” I reject that meaning of “showing one’s colors”. Instead, I am happy to make positive and visible statements in front of my house, every day, as you see here and below. The three “topic” flags appear in rotation, and the American flag is the constant. For more context, please scroll down to see my News entry on 1/2/20.

Progress!

Happy to report that the beautiful Art Elements Gallery has re-opened, along with many other businesses in downtown Newberg as part of a concerted effort state-wide to get back to normal — or to discover what the new normal is in this time of coronavirus. All anti-virus safety protocols are being closely observed. If you are comfortable doing so in person, please consider dropping by to see my show “Mystique” (and I emphasize, safety is top-of-mind at the gallery and for all of us). Remember that the website is always open and awaiting your visit.

Address: 604 E. 1st Street in Newberg. Open: Tuesday -Saturday 10-5. Phone: 503-487-6141. www.ArtElementsGallery.com

Hello, Newbies!

On May 11 we welcomed 3 young hens — Ida (Tarbell), Anna (Karenina) and Laura (Ingalls Wilder). Here they are munching on a head of lettuce suspended from a rope. Much joy and merriment in the chicken yard!

CORONaRT #2

Tomorrow at 12 noon, there will be another art give-away at our home.  As with the event last month, all appropriate social distancing and safety measures will be observed!

I will lean display racks onto the big gate on our driveway at 21424Liberty Street in Aurora. Visitors can take home, for free, one of the 21 small matted works that I have been “living” in my studio and now want to go live somewhere else! I myself will be posted up on the front steps of the house, to wave at my visitors.

Shelter-in-place means that I am spending even more time in the studio. I am making lots of new work, and need to make room for it!

Happy Mother’s Day. Stay safe, stay well. God bless us all.