Three women bring art together at Library

It will be a full house at the Hood River County Library during September and October as three Hood River artists combine their efforts to present two complete art shows.

Sorcha Meek, Rose Szapszewicz, and Shelley Smith all rent studio space at the Alpinee Hut on Tucker Road, where they share the use of a large printing press and other printmaking equipment.

All three women are experienced artists. Otherwise, they lead very different lives -- Meek being a professional artist, Szapszewicz an acupuncturist, and Smith a physician.

"Art is what brought us all together," said Meek.

She has a BA in Visual Communication and studied in Florence, Italy, for almost two years at the Art Institute of Florence. In addition to her printmaking, she creates large oil paintings focusing on the human figure. She shows her work at the Portland Art Museum's Renaissance Gallery as well at the Columbia Art Gallery in Hood River. On Nov. 17 she will host an all day etching workshop at the Alpinee Hut through the Hood River Community Education Department.

Szapszewicz studied for two years at the Pratt Institute and received her BFA from Cooper Union in New York City. Some of her work is presently on display at the Columbia Art Gallery. Referring to her career in acupuncture, she said, "Chinese medicine is not so different from art. It, too, is an art form.

Shelley Smith has no formal training in art, and began printmaking intensively last January when she acquired studio space at the Alpinee Hut. Previously, she has worked extensively in textiles and paper cutting and is also an experienced house designer.

"Printmaking is creating in yet another form for me," she said. "I am driven to do art. The asthetics of things interests me, and I love experimenting with color, form, and pattern."

Smith shows her work at the Columbia Art Gallery.

The three artists made quite a sweep of the most recent Hail Mid-Columbia Art Show. Szapszewicz won first prize, Meek walked away with the Grumbacher Gold Medal award, and Smith created the only piece of art which sold on the show's opening night.

The Alpinee Search and Rescue group was founded by Jack Baldwin, who designed the club's attractive lodge near the Hood River airport. Over the years, many of the original Alpinees have either died or moved away, and the organization found it financially advisable to rent out some of the space.

"You have no idea how rare it is to have a studiio like this in a town like this," said Szapszewicz.

The work displayed at the library will be primarily one-of-a-kind prints, although Szapszewicz may show some of her acrylic landscapes as well. All of the art shown will be contemporary and colorful. While Meek and Szapszewicz employ some images from nature in their semi-abstract prints, Smith's prints are truly abstract with a focus on color, form, and repeating patterns.

The first show opened on Aug. 30 and runs through September. In October the artists will bring in another assortment of their works.

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Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

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