proudly presenting inspirational shows and lectures on art and anthroposophy

Posts tagged “portland


the new five collective: record numbers!

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The New Five Collective, borrowing their name from early abstract artist Hilma af Klint’s esoteric meditation group, The Five, seem to have channeled some of the same exuberant energy as did the work of Hilma, which drew record crowds to the Guggenheim Museum in NY last year: the dynamic richness of this exhibit, showing the work of five powerful women, enchanted a record number of attendees on the Collective’s opening night.

Jenny Siegel, viewing art as prayer, tempted us with three sets of three smaller works, all varying in media and subject. She used embroidery thread to bring a textural component to one series which was sold that night! The more subtle and delicate monotypes had a feminine quality of quiet strength. And her watercolors illustrated Siegel’s ease with vibrant color.

MJ Connors Davison, whose one woman exhibit at The Art Hall in 2015 expressed a non-conformist freedom to break boundaries, both expanded and transformed this spirit with a limited palette in her interpretation of Mary Oliver’s four-stanza poem, When I Am Among The Trees. One can feel the colors pushing past the matted pieces. Titled Enter, Adjust, Settle and Agree, they truly express and reflect the artistic and emotional process at the heart of the poem. MJ dares to push the usual limits.

Patricia Homan Lynch, who previously exhibited her signature square canvas landscape paintings at The Art Hall in 2014, with this show continued her plein air investigation in her oil painting titled Leela’s Place. Four other smaller pieces, primarily in watercolor, showcased Lynch’s unique deftness with the brush and color, drawing the viewer in for further exploration.

Jannebeth Röell, The Art Hall’s inaugural artist in 2013, once again has blessed the white walls with gorgeous colorful veil paintings inspired by the poetry of Mary Oliver, each inviting one to enter a whole new world.

Robin Lieberman, who exhibited her Color on the Camino work in 2015, shared her series of four works inspired by the Mary Oliver poem When I Am Among the Trees, as well as a small mixed media piece, Here I Am, and three other larger veil paintings illustrating her deepening relationship to color, trusting the form to emerge.

The Art Hall was blessed by special guest musicians, The Orion String Quartet PDX, including cellist and Cedarwood alum, Sophia Rice, ’08. Inspired by the event, they filled the air with gorgeous music, a gift of artistic reciprocity.

Two special surprise visitors also attended: Cedarwood’s founding and beloved kindergarten teacher, Robert Adams, and his precious wife, Kathy, who was once part of the administrative staff. After living out of the area for ten years they are reintegrating into the community, a delight for all of us!

The Art Hall thanks alumni parents, Mike and Linda Wheeler of PDX Wines, for their donation of libations and Patricia Homan Lynch for her helpful expertise in hanging the show. And as always, we offer a big shout out to Chelsea Slaven-Davis, Marketing & Communications Director, for assisting with promotion of the event.

Thanks also to Sue Levine, Head of School, and Chiaki Uchiyama, Pedagogical Chair, for their enthusiastic and loving support of The Art Hall and to the many teachers and other community members who joined us in this inaugural exhibit of The New Five Collective.

Many works remain available for purchase and we are planning an additional Saturday morning event to close the exhibit. You may also see the exhibit during school hours. Or feel free to contact Director Robin Lieberman at 503-222-1192 or to arrange for a personal tour.

The Art Hall is a non-profit endeavor to support the future of The Arts. We abide by a “pay-it-forward” system whereby each artist donates 50% of their sales to The Art Hall, which supports all aspects of future exhibits and will contribute toward our eventual purchase of professional lighting. We also accept donations directly from patrons wishing to support our mission.


the new five collective: color keepers

The Art Hall is pleased to announce the opening of our next exhibit by The New Five Collective, a collaboration among five Portland-area artists all connected to Waldorf education: MJ Connors Davison, Robin Lieberman, Patricia Homan Lynch, Jannebeth Röell and Jenny Siegel.

You will then understand the times when there was a feeling for what lies on the other side of the Threshold, for that which weaves and lives in the bright clouds, for that which weaves and lives in the mist rolling up; so that in those days painters, for instance, were in a quite different position from what they were later. Then, colour which to them was of a spiritual essence took its right place on the canvas. The poet, then conscious that the Divine, the Spirit spoke in him could say: “Sing, O Muse, of the wrath of Achilles,” or “Sing to me O Muse of the great traveler” …

Just as poets in olden times could speak thus, so the old painters, even at the time of Raphael or Leonardo could say, because they also felt it in their own way: “Paint for me, O Muse. Paint for me, O Divine Power. Direct my hands for me. Carry my soul into my hands, so that You can guide the brush in my hands.” It is really a question of understanding this union of man with the spiritual in all the situations of life.

Rudolf Steiner lecture: Mystery centers, lecture 2, GA276

Like Hilma af Klint and her early 20th century group, The Five, The Collective are five women artists working together and devoted to bridging spirit and matter. They create in various media through the color realms, celebrating life and collectively holding hope for all living beings. And as Steiner both encouraged and cautioned Hilma, they strive to be directed by their own inner guidance.

The Collective’s exhibit flows out of their current collaboration influenced by exercises crafted by Laura Summer of Free Columbia, a sister also on the journey who greatly inspires them in her never-ending pursuit of understanding through painting:

I am a painter and I only really understand through painting.

In art we are working with something quite different from everyday concerns. We are learning to observe reality, see what is needed, and then to act. What is freedom? What is responsibility?

While all five women have exhibited individually and in other group exhibits, this show is their first as they live into The New Five Collective.

So, with open hearts they invite you to their opening reception, graced by the Orion String Quartet PDX, Thursday, January 16, 2020, at The Art Hall, Cedarwood Waldorf School, 3030 SW Second Avenue, Portland, Oregon.

Please direct all inquiries to Robin Lieberman at or 503-222-1192.


waldorf 100:  the art hall as a cultural center

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After a brilliant wash of color adorned The Art Hall to welcome students back to school, the dragons have been moved and will carry on their Michaelic mission on other walls here at Cedarwood.

Next up: Phase II of the Waldorf 100 exhibit. Curated and installed by director, Robin Lieberman, assisted by fellow artist and installation expert, Patricia Lynch, 27 works by 16 artists on the theme of COURAGE now inspire visitors with their unique strengths and accompanying verses.

Visitors to the opening reception were excited to see the variety on display on this very important subject.

It took courage to start the first Waldorf school 100 years ago and takes courage to continue to build on this legacy around the world. Cedarwood is pleased to participate in this worldwide celebration and to open its doors to the larger Portland community.

At the opening reception, Sue Levine, Cedarwood’s Head of School, shared her experience of accepting the position one year ago. Among other things, she was delighted to find that Cedarwood is also a cultural center, embodied in The Art Hall.

Thank you, Sue, for your acknowledgement, support and graceful participation in our opening!

The works cover a wide array of media, including pastels, mixed media pieces, oil paintings, watercolors, and block prints of varying sizes and styles. All the artists work out of the spiritual impulse of Anthroposophy.

This is a collection of work appealing to a wide variety of patrons. We thank all the artists for their willingness to share in this celebration from near and far:

From Portland, Oregon: Lisa Bono, MJ Connors Davison, Pablo Feliz, Robin Lieberman, Patricia Homan Lynch, Cheri Munske, Jannebeth Röell, Jenny Siegel, and Taggart Siegel

From Eugene, Oregon: Phyllis Helland and Kathy Reardon

From New York: Laura Summer

From Colorado: Kaia Dercum, Lois Hartman

From New Hampshire: Bill Whyte

From Toronto: Larry Young

The exhibit is open to the public until November 30th. You may enter the school through the main doors during school hours and wander downstairs to The Art Hall. Please also feel free to contact Robin at 503-222-1192 or at for other options.

As usual, all artists will donate 50% of their sales to The Art Hall to support the future of the arts through exhibits and teaching opportunities at the gallery.


waldorf 100: an update

Phase I. Upon learning that Cedarwood faculty and staff would be creating chalk pastel dragons as part of their pre-school in-service, we at The Art Hall got in to gear and prepared the work for installation to greet the students on opening day, September 4! (Many thanks, Jeremy!) Two people worked together on each of the sixteen pieces which now fill the space with color and wonder. Please arrange for a tour if interested.

Phase II. This will occur as originally announced and will incorporate the work of many artists, both local and from around the country, who have contributed their pieces and accompanying statements on COURAGE. The opening reception will take place at The Art Hall during Portland’s First Thursday, October 3, 5:00 – 8:00 PM. Sue Levine, Cedarwood’s Head of School, will facilitate a discussion on the theme. All are welcome!

Please come, participate, share your story, enjoy the evening’s bounty, meet new folks and perhaps purchase a piece of art. As usual, proceeds will be shared between the artist and The Art Hall, with the gallery’s portion going toward future improvements to the space. Questions? Please contact Robin at or 503-222-1192. The exhibit will continue through November.


waldorf 100!

The Art Hall at Cedarwood Waldorf School is pleased to announce a collaboration to celebrate Waldorf 100. The exhibit will be installed by September 19, the 100-year anniversary of the founding of Waldorf education, followed by an opening reception on October 3, Portland’s First Thursday Art Walk.

Submissions by artists working out of the spiritual impulse of Anthroposophy reflecting the theme of the season, COURAGE, will be accepted and curated by email (.jpg please) through August 31. Please send to

Notification of acceptance and mailing/shipping guidelines will go out by September 5. We plan to install “salon” style to accommodate as many two-dimensional works as possible. As usual, we ask artists to donate 50% of their sales as a pay-it-forward gesture for the future of the arts.

Questions: email above or call 503-222-1192.


anca hariton: the living hora

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What a beautiful gathering for Anca Hariton’s opening reception for METAMORPHORA! Our spring artist poetically and tenderly gathered us into the fold of hora, the circle, reminding us that the blood lines of our ancestors are imprinted within us. We all stood in wonder—and perhaps even a bit in love—at the unveiling of this sensitive series on the Judeo-Christian story of Creation.

One of the patrons even remarked in great wonder: “Anca’s paintings remind me of Hilma af Klint!”, an early anthroposophist whose work is now showing at the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York City. While Hilma’s works needed to wait 80 years for the appropriate temple to showcase them, Anca’s paintings have found their temporary home here in Portland. We at The Art Hall are blessed to have them on view for two months!

Anca shared that as a Waldorf teacher of Grade Three she felt she had not done justice to her subject. So inspired, she created this series while traveling and living abroad with her husband. Having fled communist Romania, Anca reveled in the heart-opening opportunity to study Rudolf Steiner openly and to manifest herself as a teacher and artist in this 100-year-old tradition.

One can clearly see the sturdiness of the architectural training Anca brought with her from Romania in the details of her work and similarly appreciate how an anthroposophical lens has deepened her study of color. With plans to publish a book of these images accompanied by her poetry in mind, we were treated to Anca’s reciting of the poem with a line corresponding to each of the paintings.

Anyone with interest can visit The Art Hall Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. when Cedarwood is in session. If you’d like to schedule a visit outside of school hours, please contact Robin at 503-222-1192 or Some original works are still available for purchase. Anca has also prepared some beautiful high quality 8X10” prints and 5X7” postcards. For those, please contact her directly at


anca hariton: metamorpha

We at The Art Hall are delighted to announce the opening reception for our next featured artist and Portland Waldorf School Lily Kindergarten Classroom Assistant, Anca Hariton, on Thursday evening, March 07th.

From Anca:

The roots of this show go deep, before my immigrating to the US. Bucharest, where I grew up, used to be known as the city of more than 200 churches, before the end of WW II. However, with the arrival of the communist revolution, worship was reserved for the Party, while traditional faiths/church attendance were discouraged, infiltrated and reported, especially in the capital. I still remember how in 4th grade, for example, our teacher admonished us, “I shall not see any of you going to church on Sunday!” Instead, families taught their children to pray secretly.

I left communist Romania for good in the mid 80’s as a trained architect. Years forward, after September 11th happened, I decided to become a teacher. I earned my credential and then my Waldorf certification. For teaching the third grade Waldorf curriculum, I had to learn from scratch what I had missed: the holy stories of the Hebrew and Christian traditions. In particular, the story of the Seven Days of Creation held many revelations for me and, in conjunction with reading Rudolf Steiner’s fascinating lectures on them, they inspired these paintings.

To be given permission for what I was not allowed to openly experience as I grew up, to learn about and teach these ancient stories felt like poetic justice. Which is why I am grateful to be able to have this series shown here, at the Cedarwood Waldorf School. Thank you!

My warm appreciation goes to all who helped this show come true: from my family and old friends (many far away) to my new Portland community and friends, including Robin Lieberman (founder and Art Hall director), Robin’s son (who designed our invitation), Christine Badura (who put us in touch), Cedarwood School (which is offering a warm/soul-filled art space), and all my friends and colleagues who encouraged this effort.

Anca Hariton
February 2019
Portland, Oregon

Metamorphora, the name of Anca’s show, is a neologism, a mash-up of metamorphosis and hora, a circle dance popular in the Balkans, Israel and Yiddish culture worldwide.

We welcome you to join us for Anca’s opening on Thursday, March 07th, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m., with her artist’s presentation at 6:00. For more information Anca’s work or to contact her directly, please visit her website, Sacristima.


phyllis helland: inspired…and inspiring

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Like her art, Phyllis shows up to work:

There is the work of making art, and then there is the work that the art does when released into the world. Art work.

She began her thoughtful presentation noting that The Art Hall is a very special place—a social place where children and parents can gather and interact with art every day—so different than a commercial gallery. (Thank you for noticing, Phyllis!) Indeed, the social aspect of our everyday lives is as invaluable as the art which surrounds us.

Phyllis also spoke about artists working together; that something happens between artists—workers—that doesn’t happen when they’re alone. Phyllis is an active member of the Regional Sketch Group in Oregon, whose members exhibited their Nine Nature Sketches individually interpreted from Rudolf Steiner’s indications, on display at The Art Hall in January 2017.

Another treat available (besides our abundant hospitality table!) was Phyllis’ reading of a David Whyte poem: What to Remember When Waking. It echoed Phyllis’ artistic process as she mused “what’s waiting to come and show itself…what color or line or shape wants to come?”

The impulse and structure for this current exhibit followed from Phyllis’ blog artworking, a collection of paintings and associated reflections through the seasons. In the aftermath of the 2016 US presidential election, Phyllis was new to social media and felt inspired to do something: like artists throughout history, she turned towards creating in the face of cultural distress as a bold and necessary act. “Putting it out there, connecting human to human, is part of the art working. I was shocked and delighted to receive worldwide responses.”

Phyllis “encourage(s) each of us to make art and to feel the life of it as we’re creating it and appreciating it…(even) while I brush my teeth, I’m looking at a piece of art and letting it speak to me.”

Eight of these beautiful twenty-two paintings sold the night of the opening! As Phyllis wants her art to do their work in the world, if you should want to purchase a piece and find the listed gallery price out of your range, then please feel free to contact Robin at 503-222-1192 or to discuss other possibilities.


phyllis helland: a working artist

The Art Hall is pleased to begin its sixth year (!) exhibiting art created by artists working out of the spiritual impulse of anthroposophy, with Phyllis Helland, from Eugene, Oregon, joining our roster of locally, nationally and internationally recognized artists at her opening reception on Thursday, January 17th.

From Phyllis:


“Our lives are an art. To live in a creative way nurtures our souls and improves our lives.

It’s a daily practice. Each new day given to us is a blessing and a chance to try again.”

~ from Jennifer Thomson, one of my teachers ~

In my practice I find drawing helps me to see and understand what I am looking at, and what is looking back at me. I carry a sketchbook with me most of the time.

Painting is a dialogue with color. Sometimes I paint purely to explore color and mood and watch for a motif to reveal itself. When I paint outdoors, en plein air, the natural world reveals colors that are not readily seen, but are there, nonetheless. The more I work with color, the more color I see in nature, and the more color reveals to me.

Some of these are pieces I made in the past year, others earlier. However, in the past year I have put all these pieces “to work” in various exhibits, study groups, and on social media. Whenever a piece of art engages with a viewer, something happens that is entirely between the viewer and the piece itself.

There is the work of making art, and then there is the work that the art does when released into the world. Art work.

Please join us for Phyllis’ opening reception Thursday, January 17th, 5:30 – 8:00 p.m. and hear Phyllis share her unique perspective on growing art in the world at 6:00.


marty levin and tom klein: sacred geometry enlivening space

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Intricate and complex, Tom’s Klein’s string art on our walls and Marty Levin’s geometric sculptures hanging from the ceiling complemented one another and the Art Hall space beautifully at their opening on Thursday, March 08th. Shadowed patterns on the walls beckoned the viewer to look more deeply into the beauty of the mathematics.

Marty and his wife, Judy, spent at least ten hours installing the cables and then hanging all the sculptures one long Saturday. Tom was more fortunate that our hanging system, already in place on the walls, completely supported his string art mounted on heavy wood—a much simpler installation.

At their opening both artists passionately shared their research and process that went into creating these marvelous scientific and artistic pieces to a warm, receptive and inquisitive audience. We are very grateful to Tom and Marty for their effort and generosity in exhibiting this unique work. They have both agreed to keep the exhibit on display through May.

If you or someone you know is interested in learning more about geometry in relation to this exhibit both artists are available to teach. The string art pieces are for sale or available to order. Please contact Robin Lieberman for any inquiries at 503-222-1192 or


marty levin and tom klein: our dynamic duo

We at The Art Hall are pleased to present a joint exhibit of geometric string and metal art by Tom Klein and Marty Levin, long-time anthroposophists whose lifelong passions for experimenting with dynamic form and space have drawn them together in recent friendship and artistic collaboration.

Please join us this coming Thursday, March 08th, for the opening of their show titled String and Metal; Movement in Space. Doors open at 5:00 and we’ll enjoy a talk by the artists at 6:00 p.m.

Marty and Judy Levin’s second stop when exploring Portland as a possible new home was the opening reception for MJ Davison at The Art Hall in January 2016 after a welcoming dinner with Jannebeth Röell and James Lee. Since then, the Martins have become regular attendees providing invaluable support at events at The Art Hall and others in Portland’s anthroposophic community. In addition, last Fall Marty had a stunning exhibit of his geometric sculptures at the Multnomah Art Center. Warm and gentle by nature, he has had a rich and rewarding career as a mathematician and Waldorf teacher.

From Marty:

After receiving my Ph.D. in mathematics from Johns Hopkins University, I met Georg Unger in 1970 in Dornach, Switzerland. He introduced me to mathematical work based on indications from Rudolf Steiner, in particular the geometrical work of George Adams. Dr. Unger also suggested the Platonic solids as forms worthy of contemplation. I spent most of my career teaching mathematics in Waldorf high schools, where the students’ ability to visualize forms and the movement of forms was developed through geometric drawings and models. After retiring, I further perfected my techniques for making the geometric models, exhibiting them in math conferences and art galleries.

The ancient Greeks found that there are exactly five convex regular polyhedra, called the Platonic solids.  In modern times we have found that these same forms represent all possible types of finite three-dimensional symmetry, thereby showing once again that they are fundamental to the nature of space.  The geometric sculptures, exhibited here, show some of the geometric relationships between the different Platonic solids, and are designed to suggest planes and lines coming in from the infinitely distant periphery. They are made with a minimal amount of physical material; what’s important is not what is there, but what is not there, which the viewer sees with their inner eye.  When viewing a piece, if you close one eye and move slightly, you will find positions in which various lines suddenly coincide, giving startlingly beautiful and different views.

Tom Klein, together with his dear wife, Ruthi, have been pillars in our Portland anthroposophic community for over 40 years. At the helm of the start of the Portland Waldorf School, manager of the former Steiner Storehouse, Cedarwood School’s first administrator, anthroposophic library keeper, board member of PCCI (a local Camphill-inspired initiative)…the list goes on. We at The Art Hall can always count on Tom (and Ruthi!) to pitch in, take the lead, sell books, set up, man the registration table…yes, that list goes on, too.

As a twelve-year graduate of the Rudolf Steiner School in NYC, Tom has been building and creating his entire life. Many of the chairs, tables and play stands in the local Waldorf schools have come from Tom’s workshop. And he does beautiful custom orders for dining tables and outdoor furniture. Your home may already be graced by Tom’s extraordinary string art which he clearly elevates to new levels: large or small in scale, colorful and intense, these creations are beautiful and mesmerizing. Tom has been a guest teacher locally, sharing his process and forms with young student-artists as part of their Waldorf school geometry blocks. Having worked for 28 years at Head Start, Tom’s dedication and love for children and their well-being is contagious.

From Tom:

I first met string art in sixth grade geometry and again in eighth grade when studying conic sections. I have actively pursued this interest for the last 50 years. In elementary school I worked with circles with 12-points. In the 1960’s I worked with 48-point circles and in the 1970’s started working with 96-point circles. I also developed and worked with spirals. In the conic sections work, which also began in the 60’s, I worked in lines consisting of…points placed as close as possible.

When invited to exhibit together there was no hesitation from either of these two new friends. They began meeting to collaborate on how they would share the space in the hall with great joy and excitement: a match made in heaven…and manifesting here, for us!

Again, please join us this Thursday, 5:00 – 8:00 p.m., for the opening, with a talk by the artists at 6:00 p.m.


laura summer: blessings

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Well, we did it! We managed our Dispersal of Laura Summer’s vibrant paintings even though Laura couldn’t be present. Luckily, Laura sent a lovely YouTube video in which she spoke about Dispersal and the joy of painting for us.

An intimate group enjoyed the grand, evening opportunity to socialize surrounded by healing, colorful paintings. About half the 30 pieces were dispersed, so the opportunity to become a steward of an original Laura Summer artwork still awaits you!

Anytime you want to view the work during school hours just ring the bell at Cedarwood and someone will show you to The Art Hall. Otherwise, feel free to make an appointment with Robin, our director, and she will gladly work with you. Laura’s wish is for all the paintings to be dispersed so they can do their healing work in their new homes.

We also introduced Ryley Wheeler, Cedarwood student and Robin’s mentee for his 8th grade project, a significant part of which involves creating the fliers announcing the exhibits. Almost five years ago Ryley won the school-wide naming contest for our gallery, so he had an early hand helping The Art Hall come into being!

Two of our former gallery artists were instrumental in installing the exhibit: Jannebeth Röell and Patricia Lynch. Robin is indebted for their open willingness to help! (And this is really an exceptionally well displayed exhibit!) Also, a big thank you to regulars, Ruthi Klein and Judy Levin, for graciously tending to the Dispersal and Donation tables.

Please look for another update to follow, as the Gospel of St John two-day workshop was also a grand event! We will install work from ten of the participants soon in The Art Hall with another soft opening: an opportunity to consider becoming a steward of one or more of the remaining works—Dispersal Portland 2018 Two!


laura summer: art dispersal and two-day workshop

We at The Art Hall are delighted to announce the return of Laura Summer. Four years ago, when we first hosted Laura, 36 of her paintings were dispersed. We are so fortunate to have the opportunity to feature 30 new stretched canvases specifically painted for Dispersal 2018!

Laura is working to create the conditions for artists to be able to work freely: patrons can become the steward of a painting but cannot buy or own it. But in donating, the patron could at least, for example, pay for the materials to make new work, thereby supporting the artist to keep creating.

Each painting in the exhibit/dispersal will have a tag indicating a range from zero up to what the piece might typically sell for. This way of communicating encourages both artist and patron to engage in a relationship with the art and with one another.

The reflective/contemplative patron may ask herself “what can I afford to pay for this painting that so touches my soul?”, or “when I first looked at it, what did I imagine the price would be?”, or even “what can I truly afford to spend to enrich my world?”

One may donate and not become a steward. Or one may donate, become a steward, and live with the painting. Later, perhaps one then feels moved to share it with someone else, letting the artist know where the painting now lives. Or, when the painting has met its need, the steward can simply send it back to the artist, renewing the process.

Laura has said, “each painting has its work to do in the world and I want them all to be dispersed.…Color is healing for the human soul.” You can read more about Art Dispersal on the Free Columbia website, the school Laura co-founded based on the same monetary principles. Her biography appears below the post.

Many of us in the Portland and Eugene areas have been looking forward to Laura’s visit since we began planning last May. Also on the west coast agenda is a two-day workshop titled The Gospel of St John, to occur the Saturday and Sunday following Friday night’s Dispersal, adjacent to The Art Hall in the South Performance Space at Cedarwood Waldorf School.

Unfortunately, due to challenging family circumstances, Laura needs to postpone her west coast teaching schedule. However, with her heart-felt blessing and loving guidance we will proceed with the Dispersal as scheduled on Friday, January 19, 2018, and with the two-day workshop to follow (see the accompanying flier below or click here for the same details). Please continue to sign up with Robin Lieberman (503-222-1192;, who will facilitate the workshop.

We will welcome Laura back to Portland in due time. For now, we send her our blessings and gratitude as we continue to learn and grow from her creativity and teachings that she so generously shares with the world. And we are sending love to her family.

Artist’s Biography. Laura Summer is co-founder with Nathaniel Williams of Free Columbia, an arts initiative that includes a full-time program based on the fundamentals of painting as they come to life through spiritual science. It is completely grass roots donation supported and has no set tuitions. Her approach to color is influenced by Beppe Assenza, Rudolf Steiner, and by Goethe’s color theory. She has been working with questions of color and contemporary art for 30 years. Her work, to be found in private collections in the US and Europe, has been exhibited at the National Museum of Catholic Art and History in New York City and at the Sekem Community in Egypt. She has published seven books, four with painting and drawing exercises and three with stories. She founded two temporary alternative exhibition spaces in Hudson NY, 345 Collaborative Gallery and Raising Matter—this is not a gallery and initiated ART DISPERSAL 2012-17, where over 450 pieces of art by professional artists have been dispersed to the public without set prices.


jacqueline freeman: behind the veil ~ the mystery, beauty, and joy of the elementals

The Art Hall is pleased to announce our next featured artist to kick off our 2017 – 2018 season: photographs by Jacqueline Freeman, a biodynamic farmer who sees the world from Nature’s perspective.

When Jacqueline was seven years old, she discovered a small stone chair and a tiny clay pipe in the woods. Thereafter, she spent much of her childhood in places where the Elementals showed their presence on the land. She learned to communicate with plants and nature spirits, animals, and the muses. The Elementals on her farm have, for many years, shared imagery and communications with her. This exhibit, her first, shows the evolution of their relationship.

Jacqueline’s book, Song of Increase: Listening to the Wisdom of Honeybees for Kinder Beekeeping and a Better World, explains how bees experience the sacred. She appeared in the documentary, Queen of the Sun, and worked with rural farmers in Dominican Republic, helping them return to historic methods of agriculture. In 2017 she founded the nonprofit, Preservation Beekeeping, through which she is creating respectful ways for humans to interact with bees. Her website,, shows videos of her working amid thousands of bees, free of protective equipment, celebrating the caring and considerate ways humans and bees exist in harmony.

Jacqueline and her husband Joseph live in southwest Washington surrounded by orchards, gardens, greenhouses, a small forest, rich pastures and wildflowers. The farm is a haven for native pollinators, birds, cows, an exuberant dog, fleet of cats, wandering flocks of chickens and turkeys, small frog ponds, and many nature spirits who live in harmony with this blessed land. These relationships are based on respect, love and kindness, paths that open communication with the unseen realm and invite a co-creative resonance that increases the divine energetics of holy land.

Please join us on Thursday, September 14, 2017 at 7:15 p.m. for Jacqueline’s opening reception, with an artist’s talk at 7:30 p.m.


katie montgomery: bees as teachers

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“This is a time to honor the bees together and share our stories. Close your eyes and reflect on their gifts. Please turn to your neighbor, as we’re all part of community, and share an encounter with bees that you’ve had in your life.” And that’s how Katie Montgomery kicked off her personal and intimate presentation on her exhibit!

Katie went on to describe the strong kindred spirit she feels with these sacred messengers; the bees are our modern day alchemists, hard working and beautiful (like Katie)! It all started in around the time she was in college, when she gradually noticed the activity and life of the bees while doing field research (literally…in a field). Her perceptions sharpened, her observational process like Goethean phenomenology, learning to slow down and listen in wonder, like a child, the bees teaching her about themselves. Katie also shared her own mystical bee story, the medicine of the bees, a lesson about attachment and letting go.

All the photos in the exhibit are those bees she met in Portland over the last eight years. Only seven of the gorgeously-framed, sensitive images of the original seventeen are still available. You can contact Katie to purchase any of these seven or unframed images for $50 and 6” square cards for $6 each (or four for $20). All prints are of exceptional quality. Please contact Katie directly at 818-605-2071.

A special thank you to professional photographer, Kristal Passie, and also a dear friend of Katie’s, for capturing the warmth and beauty of the evening.


katie montgomery: a photographic journey with the bees

As an Early Childhood Teacher with the Woodland Garden Program, our featured artist is affectionately known as Ms. Katie in the Cedarwood Waldorf School Community. She has been an early childhood teacher for five years and a caretaker for children for over a decade. Her interest in photography was sparked in her early years of college when she often wandered through the local gardens and was enchanted by the flora and fauna. Born and raised just outside of Los Angeles, California, Katie has been a nature and bee appreciator since her youngest years.

Katie studied Conservation and Resources Studies at the University of California Berkeley with a specialization in School Garden Education. She was invited to work with a research team which focused on native bee diversity in urban areas. Katie initially contributed to this work with visits to schools where she taught children about the many gifts of pollinators and helped to demystify the fears surrounding bees. She soon joined her mentor in conservation research, traveling to gardens throughout California to monitor native bee species. During her time closely observing bees, Katie discovered her passion for macro photography.

Katie is completing her last year of Waldorf Teacher Training at the Rudolf Steiner College in Sacramento, where she has spent much time in between classes sitting in the Biodynamic gardens to quietly view the blooming flowers and their winged foragers.

A Photographic Journey with the Bees offers a uniquely intimate perspective on the honeybees and native bees of Portland. Katie’s work shows how, if one observes and listens closely, the bees of the world offer messages of wisdom and wonder. Katie is also currently writing a children’s book about native bees, and she dreams of one day creating a bee sanctuary in her community.

Please join us for Katie’s opening reception on Thursday, April 27, 5:30 – 7:30 p.m., with an artist’s talk at 6:00. Her beautiful work will hang through Thursday, June 1.


regional sketch group exhibition 2017: imagination and inspiration

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This unusual exhibit is the first of its kind for the Art Hall. Rather than displaying finished works our artists from the Regional Artists Sketch Group were asked to share their sketches, their research, allowing us a glimpse at their processes. (Frame a sketch you say? Why yes! We see many framed sketches of great artists’ work in museums!) The resulting show reveals varied qualities of the artists and their work: imagination, inspiration, courage, beauty, love, devotion, joy, perseverance, community, and even the alchemical merging of earthly and cosmic forces, to name just a few.

The works invite the viewer to participate in our artists’ processes as they investigated nature, working from Rudolf Steiner’s Nine Nature Sketches for Artists for guidance. While one can see some similarities in the various artists’ work, the differences are equally apparent and illuminating. Whether viewing a large single motif or a series of smaller sketches elaborating upon a theme, an abstract work or something more representational, one can experience the living quality of color in the range of possibilities.

Wade Cavin, High School Life Sciences and Mathematics teacher at Portland Waldorf School, enriched the understanding and appreciation of those fortunate to be present at the opening reception through his eloquent and clear presentation, briefly and impressionistically summarized below, including a description of each of the nine sketches which came out of Wade’s meditation on prints of Steiner’s work.

These first three express spiritual warmth and light, followed by the gradual emergence of earthly influences, death, and then a harmonic integration of all.

  • Sketch #1: the main thing: it is a warm color sketch
  • Sketch #2: the Sun; what was orange is now red, and some blue appears
  • Sketch #3: blue now surrounds the cosmic image…the Sun…the moon phase
  • Sketch #4: earthly; nothing cosmic; green and a mysterious yellow/orange (warmth again) streaming through, with some brown flat green.
  • Sketch #5: appearance of black (death), with yellow and greens in the trees; lifeless black below, warmth in the trees
  • Sketch #6: both earthly and heavenly qualities; enter a strange blue
  • Sketch #7: more earthly brown; the cosmic is now entering the earth; the alchemical merging of cosmos and earth has a circular aspect
  • Sketch #8: sunrise 2; a cosmic sun on the horizon like #7, with a triangle, often the symbol of light, while the circle is warmth
  • Sketch #9: we achieve harmonic composition

The original works of Steiner invite us to delve more deeply into our own capacity for imagination and inspiration. Color is not just physical; it also has a spiritual component, a subjective quality that comes through the spiritual world. How do we approach this and know what’s going on; how do we engage with our consciousness, other than simply feeling?

Steiner told us that in the future we will be able to see color not attached to an object. So, what’s out there in nature? For example, what is this black telling us? How can I work with the warmth quality, life quality (green), with lively blue all around them? How do we develop the new eye for these; how does warmth turn into light…and into death? How can we be inspired by color into this new sensing? What is inspiring us into color can really change our level of inspiration.”

The works will hang through February 23. We invite you to see this interesting and compelling exhibit, preferably by appointment, with Robin Lieberman (503-222-1192) or one of the artists. And if you are interested in purchasing a piece, please contact the same.

Portland Group

  • Wade Cavin
  • Carrie Gibbons
  • James Lee
  • Patricia Homan Lynch
  • Jannebeth Roell

Eugene Group

  • Barbora Bakalarova
  • Phyllis Helland
  • Kathy Reardon
  • Marcia Seymour


  • Laurie McCloskey

And last, thank you to Patricia Homan Lynch, one of the artists, for taking up the work of matting and framing many of these works and, once again, for her keen eye in hanging the exhibit!


regional sketch group exhibition 2017: studies of nine training sketches of nature moods for painters by rudolf steiner


In the summer of 2014 Laura Summer, founder of Free Columbia art school and a 2014 Art Hall artist, offered a workshop based on Rudolf Steiner’s Nine Training Sketches of Nature Moods for Painters, in Corvallis, Oregon. Artists from Portland, Eugene, Corvallis and elsewhere in the region were inspired to further pursue their investigations. We at The Art Hall are now pleased and privileged to offer an exhibition of ten participating artists’ interpretations of their artistic research.

Please join us to meet the artists at our opening reception on Friday, January 13th, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m., and take in a presentation by Wade Cavin, High School Life Sciences and Mathematics teacher at Portland Waldorf School, who will introduce these studies in his typically comprehensive and engaging style. To learn more about the week-long workshop which gave rise to the works please read fellow 2014 Art Hall artist Patricia Lynch’s personal reflections in the January 2017 newsletter of The Portland Branch of the Anthroposophical Society.


valerie miles: working out of anthroposophy

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A loving crowd representing various periods in Valerie Miles’s career as teacher and artist here in Portland attended her opening reception for Playing with Color, Rhythm and Form: students, from high school seniors who were in her last 8th grade class at the Micha-el School to a fourth grader who had Valerie in her first year; parents of students; Waldorf teacher colleagues; artists; other professionals in our community; and her ever-present husband and partner in life, John—all eager to hear her eloquent presentation amidst her gorgeous and riveting works of art.

Valerie took to the podium with the familiarity, ease and confidence of a professional. She began her inspiring presentation declaring that her life’s work comes out of anthroposophy and how out of personal tragedy, losing someone very close, she came to work with color, learning from the well-known German painter, Karo Bergman. In this relationship (Karo spoke no English and Valerie spoke no German!) they communicated through the being and essence of color. After this time in Germany Valerie and her family returned to England, enrolled their children in a Waldorf School, and John and she began their training. She told us that Waldorf Education contains every aspect of anthroposophy and has the power to heal and change lives, most of that streaming through the Arts.

Valerie delighted us with a story of awareness, explaining how one of her teachers once said, “an artist should not be a teacher”. Her reflections:

That’s an interesting concept and I had never thought about it before. Now I can think about it…I like it! Why did she say that? I think as an artist now I can just start to feel the communication that I need to bring the forces, and what I see behind those forces, and bring them into the Arts. When you’re a teacher you’re always preparing, marking, giving out, going to meetings…You can’t hold that space, not if you’re a Waldorf teacher. I’m just about getting to that place. But what I found most of all, most satisfying, and this has always been so, ever since the work with Karo Bergman and later at Tobias School of Art, and (with) many other teachers: that power of color.

We’re forgetting what’s in our environment…what’s God-given, if you like, what sustains us. The power of color, all that rhythm that lives, how it changes…This is why I’ve always been so fascinated by the seasons and what’s happening.

Sharing her process Valerie said: I’m a very fair weather artist and I have to be in the mood. But I’m getting past that a bit…If I feel inspired I just take a color—any color—and put it on paper and then another color and another and I just play with them; I literally play with them and hope—there’s a lot of trust involved here— “is something going to turn out?” And fortunately, a lot of times it does work! It’s a trust process.

Most telling, a child in the captive audience asked a question at the end of Valerie’s presentation “What inspires you?” Valerie’s beautiful response was “children, like you, who are closest to the spiritual world.”

Thank you, Valerie, for your dedication to the Arts, anthroposophy, your impeccably executed work, and a most beautiful exhibit at the Art Hall! Many, many beings received the healing power of the color you shared. We hope you’ll come back!


valerie miles: playing with color, rhythm, and form

valerie-miles-october-november-2016-8-5x11We at the Art Hall are delighted and honored to exhibit the gloriously colorful work of Valerie Miles, a pillar in Portland’s Waldorf and larger anthroposophic communities for years with her husband, John.

Valerie was born and raised in Nottingham in the English Midlands. She found satisfaction as a young child in drawing the nature that she saw around her. Valerie later studied at Nottingham College of Art and then at Hatfield University, gaining her first degree in Art and Literature.

Valerie raised her children in Germany. While there Karo Bergman, a well-known anthroposophic artist and professor at Dusseldorf University, invited Valerie to paint and draw with her on a regular basis, which they did for several years in Karo’s studio.

After the family returned to England, Valerie trained as a Waldorf Teacher and then first taught the History of Art in the High School. One of her first pupils, Gill David, is now the Director of Tobias School of Art and Art Therapy.

Soon afterwards Valerie became a Class Teacher, taking her first class through Grade 8. Partway through her third class the family moved to Canada and then at last here to Portland, Oregon. She again taught as a Class Teacher at the Portland Waldorf School.

Valerie then trained as an Art Therapist at Tobias and later, with her husband, John, founded and taught at the Micha-el School, which offers a full kindergarten through Grade 8 Waldorf education. She also has taught at the Micha-el Institute, especially at Summer Conferences, which among other things has provided teacher training and continuing education for many of Waldorf teachers in the Portland area and beyond.

Valerie has now retired and is developing her own work, “playing” with color, rhythm and form. Please join us for the Opening Reception Thursday, October 27, 5-7:30 and Valerie’s presentation at 6:00. Private viewing can easily be arranged by contacting Robin, at 503-222-1192 or


jennifer thomson: the art retreat

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Jennifer Thomson’s enriching five-day Art Retreat, which took place at the Sunlight Community Building in Portland’s west hills, was attended by an enthusiastic and eager group of ten painters—some of whom had never held a brush before! Jennifer taught with love and reverence for the color beings, polarities, and composition, through well-prepared demonstrations, a sense of play, and freedom that was accessible, challenging and richly rewarding.

We all worked very hard and enjoyed well-deserved, catered lunches together, took time to observe others’ work and learn from one another, and participated in break-out sessions to talk about the work and learn yet another sketching or painting exercise. We had one large veil painting we worked on all week as well as subsequent smaller paintings and charcoal sketches, all of which helped build a layered appreciation for our tools for painting and the language for talking about our process. Some participants left the Retreat with over fifteen pieces of art!

The following are just a few of Jennifer’s gems from the Retreat:

  • Being an artist means reaching for the spiritual, beyond what’s visible; play with what you find: light and darkness/periphery and point.
  • When you get to an edge it’s an opportunity to cross the threshold: something more beautiful is waiting. Focus on the heart sphere.
  • Try to enter the painting until it becomes part of you. Try to be brave; don’t worry about what it looks like; we can salvage anything. It’s your painting! Break the balance. You’re at the threshold.
  • When you’re not sure what to do it’s good to try different approaches. Look for each step to improve: an artist’s spiritual path.
  • Everyone must discover what’s built into us in terms of how we work (Jennifer works by communicating with the color, light and dark, finding balance). And when you work something out (“ugly work”) something moves in you.
  • Get it in your bones by nature observation; then you can paint in the studio.
  • Light and darkness practice helps compositional skills. If you have a question about it try it!
  • Making art is like meditating: ritual, practice, gets harder; make it conscious when you have blocks of non-working time.

We learned to create and paint with three different grays by mixing complementary colors to give a shadowy feeling: tree trunk and branches would be the first layer, upon which we would then paint the fullness of trees from our imaginations. We also learned that the artist is always trying to achieve balance between two major forces: blue coming in and yellow going out, to experience color as alive.

We were encouraged to stretch our imaginations and reach toward the cosmos and play; to move from the periphery to the inside, drawing with charcoal to make our lines alive…creating organic, alive space, play and dance. And that we did!


jennifer thomson: soul and heart nourishment

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With the gentleness of an attentive caregiver, the thoughtfulness of a good friend, and the knowledge of a true master, Jennifer Thomson humbly and fully shared her Path as an Artist with an intimate group of attendees on her opening night, Friday, September 16th. Everyone remained perched like a nest full of open-beaked baby birds waiting to be fed and no one left disappointed.

Jennifer poetically and generously shared a rich biography, from her roots in Tennessee through her attendance at the Fort Lauderdale School of the Arts, where she and fellow students first took up of the task of realism and where Karl Voster, an anthroposophist, then awoke in them an awareness to “what lives inside, such as the soul of a human being or essence of a flower. Studies with Beppe Assenza at the Goetheanum followed.

Documenting a number of artists with whom she worked, learned from and taught, Jennifer led us further through a carefully curated slide presentation of all the stops along the path of her life as an artist. We learned of her early years as a fellow student with Larry Young, who continued on the path of painting the evocative soul portraits of human beings. We saw slides of her beloved teacher Beppe Assenza, her former student and fellow Art Hall exhibitor, Laura Summer, and others woven into a complex and compelling story of her emerging as an artist who has learned through lots of hard work to paint with a sense of freedom, joy, laughter, intense observation and living consciously.

Jennifer’s show remains open by appointment through Friday, October 14th. Please contact Robin at or at 503-222-1192 if you’d like to stop by! And last, please check in here again soon for a post about Jennifer’s week-long retreat.

All photos provided by James Lee.


jennifer thomson: show and five-day retreat!

Art Hall Jennifer Thomson September-October 2016 [8.5x11]After years of loving invitations (“might you accompany your husband, Philip Incao, MD the next time he comes to Portland?”) the legendary Jennifer Thomson has agreed to lead off our 2016 – 2017 season at The Art Hall as our September artist! In addition, Jennifer is offering a five-day painting retreat, until now exclusively held at her marvelous studio in Crestone, Colorado. Excited? Indeed!

The following excerpt is from Jennifer’s website:

Roaming the rolling hills around her childhood home in Tennessee, Jennifer developed a spiritual connection to nature. In her art, she strives to use color to reflect the “aliveness” of the natural world, to express the interweaving of the living, musical elements of light, darkness and color. Jennifer is an established fine artist and art teacher. Her Studies included, Goethe’s color theory, Rudolf Steiner’s color indications and Spiritual Science at the Beppe Assenza School of Art in Dornach Switzerland. Jennifer’s paintings are created watercolor, gouache, acrylic, encaustic, plant colors with beeswax and mixed medium on different surfaces. Jennifer’s work with students is very individual; her goal is to help students find their own path and voice through the unfolding colors. For 11 years, she was director of the Internationally known Atelier House School of Painting in New York, while continuing to develop her own work. Her students came from North America, Europe and Asia. She taught art at State Institutions for handicapped children and adults, Triform Camphill, Senior Citizen’s retirement centers, in Michigan, New York, Switzerland and Colorado.  Presently Jennifer lives in Crestone, Colorado, teaching and developing her art.

The installation of Jennifer’s paintings, featuring new work and several works on loan from private collections, took place on Tuesday, August 16, 2016. To learn more, join us for the opening reception on Friday, September,16, 2016, including Jennifer’s presentation “A Path of an Artist.” If you are interested in Jennifer’s five-day art retreat, please contact Robin Lieberman at 503-222-1192 or


pamela whitman: opening and weekend workshop

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Pamela Whitman poured warmth and wisdom from her heart and soul at her opening on Friday evening, March 11th. Drawing on her years of continuous study, independent research, teaching students, and treating clients, Pam provided a clear and accessible explanation of how Light, Color, and Darkness manifests in the three-fold nature of the human being as described by Rudolf Steiner. Pam further explained how this concept of color resulting from the interaction between light and darkness has been researched and shared along the lineage uniting not just Goethe, Steiner, and Liane Collot d’Herbois, but going as far back as Aristotle and Plato.

First, there is the connection of light with our thinking and nerve-sense system, the upper pole. Expressions such as “I see”, “a bright idea”, and “it dawned on me” all show our common experience of light as a spiritually creative principle.

The connection of darkness with our willing and metabolic/limb system, the lower pole, involves those functions usually outside of our conscious awareness or control, such as digestion, the precise details involved in how we move our limbs (e.g., lengthening this muscle while contracting that one). In this realm, whenever our awareness is heightened something is usually wrong and pain can result. Yet the darkness is also a spiritually creative impulse, as warmth, as love, as the darkness of the earth nurturing a seed until it germinates and grows toward the light, as the darkness of the womb carrying and nurturing the fetus, and even as the warmth of our bed as we sleep at night to refresh for the day to come.

Color is the meeting of the two in the middle realm, the rhythmic system of breathing and circulation. We often associate color with our sensations and emotions, e.g., feeling blue, in the pink, seeing red, etc.

As Pam further explained, she has been drawn all her life to the meeting place of science, art and spirit. She came to veil painting through Waldorf education, first taking a course with Ted Mahle. Afterwards she viewed some veil paintings in a gallery in Tahoe City, recognizing that that was the kind of veil painting she wanted to do. These paintings had been created by a student of Leszek Forczek, who had studied with Collot d’Herbois. Years later, he became her painting teacher. It was slow going at first, one workshop a year with Lois Schroff, then going to the Emerald Foundation to study the therapeutic principles behind the work, where she continues to study today. Pam seeks to learn from all the available teachers of Light, Color, and Darkness and to share this meaningful work with others.

Pam studied with Liane Collot d’Herbois during the last five years of Liane’s life and learned that doctors had sought out Liane’s impressions of their pediatric patients which followed from insights she gleaned from their paintings in the home where she worked. Liane also collaborated with Dr. Ita Wegman, who further developed and explained the connection between Light, Color, and Darkness within the human being, sharing her gift of wisdom so that others could learn it too.

Pam then described the process of veil painting, furthering our appreciation of her exhibit and the laws of color it reveals: building up layers of transparent watercolor, allowing them to dry before adding another layer, creating unique color nuances in the process; first creating a color atmosphere, then color weaving, and only later form. Creating a space in this manner for color on paper creates a space in the soul for spirit. When veil painting is created while following the laws of Light, Color, and Darkness, something in us resonates with it, recognizes it. That’s what attracts us to veil painting. Often we expect to get something from a painting, but these paintings can instead evoke something already within us and thereby help us be filled from the inside.

Pam expressed her appreciation for The Art Hall, as it is providing a space for work like this which might not be seen in regular galleries. This exhibit has been an opportunity to share her striving, her process in Light, Color, and Darkness.

Nine participants also had the benefit of immersing themselves in an intensive, two-day veil painting workshop with Pam the weekend following the opening of her exhibit at The Art Hall. In a beautiful, forested setting with floor to ceiling windows—and a pot of soup on the stove—Pam guided us further into this world of color with her finely-tuned experiments, illustrating color behind and in front of the light, and walking everyone through her “color tunnel” after reading Liane Collot-d’Herbois’ description of the movement of colors.

With this teaching, participants were then better equipped to press on with their own work with a richer understanding of how color veils were forming out of light and darkness. Pam’s clarity and compassion provided excellent support for everyone to develop improving capacity to follow the laws of color and to allow form to emerge, developing subtly at first and then more robustly over time. While our group was quite eclectic, Pam graciously met the needs of each painter. Her breadth and depth of knowledge, experience and sharing was so generous and thoughtful!

Pam’s stellar exhibit will remain hanging through April. We recommend spending some time with this work, for the healing potential is clearly felt, and encourage scheduling an appointment. Even if one was not at her presentation, Pam’s evocative veil paintings and pastels speak volumes to the human heart and soul.

Many of the works are available for purchase. Fine giclée prints and art cards are also available or can be ordered through Robin at 503-222-1192 or As has been the case for other visiting artists, Pam will be donating 50% of all sales to The Art Hall (a kind of pay-it-forward gesture!) in support of the Hall’s ongoing growth. Current proceeds are intended to help us procure gallery-quality lighting.

Thank you, Pamela Whitman. You have graced us all with your beautiful spirit and art. We look forward to your return!